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Buerré Bosc Pears
BUERRÉ BOSC PEARS — It’s uncertain whether Bosc pears are Belgium or French in origin. What is known is that Bosc Pears were discovered sometime in the early 1800′s. At that time, the European convention for naming pears was to use a two-name system, where the first name identified a characteristic of the fruit, and the second name referenced its origin. Buerré Bosc identifies the fruit as “buttery” and named after M. Bosc who was the director of the Paris Botanical Garden at the time.
This is an elegant variety, with a crunchy yet tender flesh and sweet-spiced flavor. Contrary to some beliefs, Bosc pears do not need to be peeled to enjoy. They are delicious eaten out of hand, skin and all, and are ideal for use in baking, broiling and poaching.
RIPENING: Bosc pears are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than other pears. As a result, their complex flavor, honey-sweetness, and juiciness can be enjoyed before their flesh has fully softened. Remember this when determining when Bosc are ripe. Check with gentle thumb pressure applied near the stem. However, keep in mind that they will “give” less than other pears. There may be a slight wrinkling at the base and minimal color change as they ripen. Ripen at room temperature; refrigerate only after pears are ripe.
Honey Roasted Bosc Pears
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
5 firm-ripe cored Bosc pears, halved lengthwise (leave stems intact)
3 T. balsamic vinegar
2/3 c. honey
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 400°. Pour butter into a large baking pan. Tilt pan to coat with the butter. Arrange pears in one layer, cut sides down. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Combine the vinegar and honey. Spoon mixture over pears, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Arrange pear halves on each of 10 dessert plates. Spoon pan juices over the top. Sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
JAZZ APPLES — Jazz Apples were developed in New Zealand from multiple cross pollinations of Braeburn and Royal Gala, producing 8,500 seedlings of which only one would be chosen for greatness. Developers tasted apples from over 5,000 seedlings before selecting the variety now known as Jazz.
The new kid on the produce block began tantalizing the taste buds of apple lovers around the globe, and over the last five years, enough Jazz trees have been planted around the world (including in the United States) to produce more than 500 million apples!
STORAGE: Store in a cool, dry place or refrigerate. Apples may seem crisper when they are chilled. Tip: Do NOT store near carrots! The ethylene gas apples release can turn carrots bitter.
Jazzy Peanut Butter Muffins
1 Jazz apple, diced and peeled
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2/3 c. quick cooking rolled oats (please do NOT use instant)
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla
2/3 c. peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Peel and dice apple and toss with cinnamon, salt and oats in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar and baking powder. In a third bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, butter and milk. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until combined. Stir in oat mixture and peanut butter chips. Divide batter among cups in a muffin tin and bake on the middle oven rack for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer muffins to a rack and let cool. Yields 12 muffins and lots of smiles.