Has anyone tested different types of varietal pears for their roasting and baking times? I am now really curious about both temperature and length of time related to the degrees of crispness with pear types. Would love to know if there is any systematic study already out there on this. As one who loves using the Mac for baking in pies, I guess I also want to go for a flavor angle with pears, too. This may wind up being a mini study. Thanks!



Christina W. October 25, 2010
I would choose Bartletts as my first choice for baking. Because of the firmness. But also look around for some smaller local varieties. They are often a bit harder, so would bake up nicely.

On a side note- A great seasonal sandwich: Sliced pears between two pieces of fresh bread spread with goat cheese and a layer of arugula. It's delicious!
Jon P. October 25, 2010
In my opinion, pears vary enough in exact ripeness and juiciness from pear to pear that even a batch of pears of the same variety may produce different results than the last time you used them. If you ask me, the answer to your question would give you more of a general guideline than something definitive. I think the pears will still require attention and periodical checking throughout the cooking process in order to make the best end product possible.
AntoniaJames October 25, 2010
When making a clafoutis or a light tart, by the way, I have always used Bartletts. Their texture is more delicate than any other variety available to me. They seem to melt in your mouth. I'll probably experiment tomorrow with both Bartletts and whatever other harder pears look best at the market, to compare.
Sagegreen October 25, 2010
Thanks! I look forward to hearing your findings. Our local orchard has about 7 varieties at the moment. Seckels remain my favorite eating pear! I will test some out in baking next month as well.
AntoniaJames October 25, 2010
In my experience, it depends entirely on (a) the ripeness of the pear, regardless of variety and (ii) it's fundamental juiciness, which depends on growing conditions of the season, including weather and soil. Also important is when in the fruit's growing stage it was picked, and how it was handled. Managing the optimum ripening of pears is tricky. Comice are my favorites, but frankly, I love fresh pears so much eaten raw, with a sliver of cheese, some new-season walnuts and a glass of port, that I haven't baked with them much. Coincidentally, I am planning to bake some tomorrow (not in a pie, however), so I'll report on my findings. Stay tuned . . . ;o) .
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