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Pears, a naturally sweet stone fruit, lend themselves nicely to various types of desserts. Pear tarts, cakes, and cobblers are some of the most common varieties of desserts made with this fruit. A grilled pear served with ice cream is an easy pear dessert to enjoy in warmer months, and fruit pudding is often popular during cold weather.
A pear tart is made with a butter crust that is filled with firm, sweet pears; the Bosc variety is the most popular for this dish. The pears are mixed with lemon juice, corn starch, brown sugar, and spices and layered into the shell. The edges of the crust are folded over the filling, and the tart is then baked. The finished product is a lightly sweet, rustic dessert.
Upside down cakes, often with pineapple, can also be made with pears. A caramel sauce is spread on the bottom of a cake pan, and sliced pears are fanned out to create a base for the cake batter. Once the batter is poured over the fruit, the pear dessert is baked and inverted onto a serving dish once cool. The result is an rather impressive looking, sweet dessert.
A cobbler is often one of the easiest means of cooking with pears. A pear filling is layered over a basic pastry shell and topped with a crumbly, sweet topping and then baked until bubbly. Cobblers can be made with only pears or any mixture of fruit. This dessert is often served with ice cream and, depending on the ingredients used to create the topping, can be a relatively healthy pear dessert option without sacrificing flavor.
In the summer months, many people avoid turning on their stove or oven in an attempt to keep the house cool; with that in mind, grilling pears is a good way to enjoy a warm dessert without heating up the house. For this pear dessert, the fruit is cut in half and the pit is removed. After a light brushing of oil and any number of seasonings, the pear halves are then placed on a charcoal or gas grill until the outside of the fruit begins to caramelize. The grill intensifies the natural sweetness of the fruit and gives it a slightly smoky flavor, thereby creating an interesting yet simple dessert. When served with very cold ice cream, grilled pears can be an excellent addition to a barbecue.
A baked fruit pudding made with pears is a comforting type of a pear dessert. Made from pears, sugar, butter, and flour, a pear pudding can be simple or complex; a common addition to this pear dessert is chocolate or vanilla. In some cases, other stone fruits are added to create a mixed fruit pudding.