Excerpted from Pears by Andrea Slonecker (Short Stack Editions, 2017).
Andrea recommends serving these alongside rich, roasted meats (like ham or beef brisket) or serving with sliced salami and washed rind cheese. You can also use the pears in a salad—and be sure to use some of the pickle brine to make the vinaigrette. —Sarah Jampel
medium ripe or slightly underripe Bosc pears (you can also use Seckels)
1 1/2 cups
apple cider vinegar
star anise pods
pink (or regular) peppercorns
Halve and core the pears, and cut each one lengthwise into 12 spears. (If using Seckels, core and cut each into 4 or 6 pieces.) Pack the spears into two wide-mouth pint-size glass canning jars.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup of water, the vinegar, honey, salt, star anise, and peppercorns and bring to a boil, stirring until the honey and salt have dissolved. Boil for about 2 minutes. Divide the boiling-hot brine between the jars (about 1 cup each), pouring it over the pears so they are submerged.
Cover the jars with lids and set aside to cool to room temperature as the brine begins to pickle the pears. When the pears are completely cooled, refrigerate them for up to 2 weeks.