Autumn is almost (just-around-the-corner) here. As it’s not quite apple season, I thought I’d get a head start on that heady, warm, cinnamon-y scent and flavor by jazzing up the apple’s Japanese cousin, the Asian pear. Called nashi (梨) in Japan (not to be confused with yo-nashi which is a Bosc pear) this particular gem has a few tricks you should definitely know before diving into the recipe.
First, the skin of the pear is rough and has, to me, that nails-on-chalkboard feel. I always peel them. Or, have someone else peel them for me.
Second, the pear itself is very juicy, and very hard. That’s the good news. The bad news is you truly must get the entire core cut out before biting into it. The white part, packed tight inside the core feels like eating cotton if you bite it. Take special care when coring. Remove all the white stuff.
Not too bad as tricks go. Now for the recipe.
- 4 Asian pears
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- dash (I do mean dash, do not overdo this) ground cloves
- dash salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons butter (cut into chunks)
- Preheat your oven to 190C (or 350F).
- Peel and core the pears.
- Cut into chunks and place into a large baking dish.
- Add vinegar, cinnamon, allspice, ground ginger and ground cloves, salt, and a few tablespoons of the brown sugar (save the rest).
- In a bowl, mix the flour, rolled oats, and butter.
- Mix in the rest of the brown sugar.
- Mix together with pears.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes and increase the temperature to 190C (or 375F) for another ten minutes.
The spices add deep and warm notes which heat you up from the inside. And, as I’m still blasting my air conditioner, a bit of a warm dessert doesn’t bother me that much. Still, in November and December? Yes. Yes, indeed.
This Japanese-infused dessert will be your new fall favorite, guaranteed.