C’est La Vie! Recipes: How to Use Over Ripe Pears 3 Different Ways

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C’est la vie! When I waited too long to use pears, all I can say, c’est la vie it is! What to do when they are too ripe to eat? What to do, what to do, what to DO!?

Cobbler came to mind, but I was thinking something more… adventurous. Then I remembered that there was a pear recipe (or two) in “The Vegan Dairy”. And of course, there would be one in “Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food”.

Pear and Cashew Yogurt Sponge

Recipe by: Catherine Atkinson

Makes 9

Author’s note: Thin slices of pear make an attractive fruity topping for this light sponge, which is flavored with ginger and lime. You can either leave this to cool and serve it as a cake, or serve it while still warm as a dessert with creamy vanilla custard or a dollop of cashew yogurt.


175 g/6 oz/ 3/4 cup light muscovado/brown sugar

120 mL/ 4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

finely grated rind of 1 lime

10 mL/ 2 tsp vegan powdered egg replacer

60 mL/ 4 tbsp warm water

120 mL/ 4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup cashew yogurt

175 g/ 6 oz/ 1 1/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour

7.5 mL/ 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

7.5 mL/ 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

3 firm ripe pears

  1. Grease a loose bottomed 18 cm/7 in square tin or pan and line the base with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas 4.
  2. Beat together the sugar, oil and lime rind in a bowl. Blend the egg replacer with the warm water, then add to the sugar and oil mixture, a third at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the yogurt. Sift the flour, baking powder and ginger over the mixture and fold in.
  3. Halve the pears, then scoop out the cores with a teaspoon. Cut the pear halves into very thin slices. Working quickly (before they start to brown), arrange the slices on the bottom of the tin. Spoon the cake mixture over the sliced pears and level the top.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cover with foil towards the end of cooking if the top starts to brown too much. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and carefully removing the lining paper. Cut into 9 squares and serve warm.
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Nutritional information:

Energy 248 kcal Protein: 2.4g Carbohydrate: 42.1 g of which sugars 27.2 g Fat: 8.9g of which saturates 1.1g Cholesterol: 0mg Calcium: 40 mg Fibre: 2.4 g Sodium: 6mg

Pecan Milk and pear milkshake

Recipe by: Catherine Atkinson

Serves 2

Author’s note: A fruity, creamy, vegan milkshake. Although, fresh fruit cannot be beaten for flavor, canned varieties are a good alternative and it’s certainly worth stocking up on a few cans for those occasions when you fruit bowl is empty. Go for ones in natural juices rather than syrup.


3 pieces preserved stem ginger, plus 15 mL/ 1 tbsp ginger syrup from the jar

400 g/ 14 oz can of pears in natural fruit juice

450 mL/ 3/4 pint/ scant 2 cups cold pecan milk (or non dairy milk of choice)

ice cubes

  1. Shave off some wafer-thin slices from one of the pieces of ginger and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining ginger. Drain the pears, reserving about 150 mL/ 1/4 pint/ 2/3 cup of the juice.
  2. Put the pears, measured juice and chopped ginger in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping the mixture down from the sides if necessary.
  3. Strain through a sieve or strainer into a jug or pitcher. Whisk in the milk and ginger syrup and pour into two glasses. Serve with ice and top with the reserved ginger shavings.
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Nutritional information:

Energy: 140 kcal/594 J Protein: 1.6g Carbohydrate: 30.1 g of which sugars 29.1 g Fat: 2.4g of which saturates 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Calcium: 15 mg Fibre: 5.1 g Sodium: 197 mg

Pear Scrap Jelly

Recipe by: Steven Satterfield

Yield: Approximately 2 cups

Author’s note: This gorgeous jelly is sure to impress your family and friends without them ever knowing the secret ingredient is actually leftovers: the cores, peels, and bruised pieces of apples or pears. JBF Award winner Steven Satterfield serves this as his restaurant alongside chicken rillettes, but this preserve also pumps up a pedestrian PB&J.


4 cups apple or pear scraps (cores, peeled, bruised fruit, etc)

2 cups apple cider

2 cups water

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

  1. Combine apple (or pear) scraps, apple cider, water, vinegar, sugar, cranberries, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium until solids are soft and falling apart, about 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a fine mesh sieve and strain over a large bowl to catch the liquid. Do not press down on the solids as they drain and allow to strain for 30 minutes.
  3. Discard the solids, then return the remaining liquids back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by three-quarters and large, slow bubbles form, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once the jelly is cool, check the viscosity. If it’s loose, return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat one more time until large bubbles form. (Be careful not to cook the jelly to the point of caramelizing. Watch out for nutty smells– it should smell like bright apples/pears while cooking.) Store in the refrigerator for two weeks, or preserve using the method below.
  5. While the jelly is cooking, sterilize jars in a water bath by submerging the jars in a simmering water in a large pot lined with a jar rack. Keep in water for 5 minutes then carefully pull out with tongs and set upside down on a clean work space to dry.
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So when life gives you over ripe pears, make a cake, shake, or jelly! 🙂


“The Vegan Dairy” Catherine Atkinson

“Waste Not How to Get the Most From Your Food: Recipes and Tips for Full-use Cooking from America’s Best Chefs” James Beard Foundation

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