April’s fruit of the month is the pear. Pears have been grown in Australia since the arrival of the First Fleet and there are many varieties to choose from including Packham, Williams, Beurre Bosc, Corella, Nashi and Josephine. Australia’s Williams pears are used to make the famous French liqueur poire William.
Nutritionally, pears are high in fibre, a good source of vitamin C and provide the important mineral potassium.
When buying pears, select unbruised fruit. Choose softer fruit if you wish to eat now, or firmer fruit to be eaten later in the week. To test for ripeness, gently press near the stem – if it gives it’s ready to eat. If you’re planning to cook with pears, choose Beurre Bosc or a firm pear.
Pears can be kept for several days at room temperature, depending on the ripeness. Ripe pears may be refrigerated to extend shelf life. Like apples, the flesh of the pear discolours quickly once peeled or cut.
Although pears, like apples, require no preparation to be eaten as a snack, here are 5 other ways they can be enjoyed:
1. Add sliced pear to a salad of rocket, parmesan and walnuts.
2. Poach pears in port for a delicious dessert.
3. Include slices of Nashi pear on a cheese platter.
4. Serve roasted pears as an accompaniment to chicken or pork.
5. Use pears instead of apples to make a Tarte Tatin. Click here for Pear Tarte Tatin recipe.