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I’ve been making a version of this kuchen for many years. Originally, it was a German recipe which used quark, something that is not available in most of our Cincinnati-area grocery stores. I’ve found that sour cream or yogurt are good substitutes. This is very easy to put together with a variety of fruit toppings, not too sweet and a consistency that I haven’t found in other cakes. This was a good version with some leftover blackberries and a big Bartlett pear.

Blackberry Pear Kuchen

  • Servings: One 9-Inch cake - 6 servings
  • Print

3 Tblsp. sour cream
3 Tblsp. milk
3 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup blackberries
1 cup pear slices

Cinnamon-Ginger Topping: 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
and 1/4 tsp. each of cinnamon and ginger, mixed together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch baking pan

In medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, oil and sugar.

Mix together the salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and gradually stir into sour cream mixture. Place batter in greased pan. The dough will be stiff and somewhat sticky. Dampen your hands with water and then press the dough into the pan.

Arrange the blackberries and pear slices over the top of the cake.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Cinnamon-Ginger Topping over top of cake and continue baking for 5 more minutes.

Place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 servings.


Delicious as a breakfast coffee cake or as a dessert. Especially good warm from the oven.

 


Mead 0914 (2)
A month or so ago (before all of the snow hit), we visited a local park which is built around an old homestead with a beautiful house, garden and weather vane.

Mead 0914 (4)
Near the house I was surprised to see a big Bartlett pear tree laden with fruit.  We had two of these trees on our old homestead on the Ohio/Indiana border many years ago and I always made full use of all of the delicious pears.  No one was gathering the pears here but I resisted the temptation to pick up a few for my favorite Pear Crumble Pie and instead bought some at the store.  This time I used the pears to make a bar cookie with all of the flavors of the pie but on a tender cookie base.   These are delicious.

PEAR CRUMBLE BARS


3 cups of sliced, peeled ripe Bartlett pears (3-4 medium pears)
1-½ Tblsp. lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. grated lemon peel
2 Tblsp. butter

Crumble Topping
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
4 Tblsp. butter

Cookie Base:
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Butter a 9-inch baking pan

To prepare pears:
In a medium bowl, place pear slices, lemon juice, sugar, flour and lemon peel.  Toss lightly.  In a skillet, melt 2 Tblsp. butter and add the pear mixture.  Saute pear mixture until pears are slightly soft but not brown.  Set aside.
PearBar (1)
To prepare crumb topping:
In a small bowl, place flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk to combine.  Cut in 4 Tblsp. butter until mixture is crumbly.  Set aside.

To prepare cookie base:
In a mixer bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy.  Add egg and mix to combine.  Add flour, salt and vanilla, mixing just until flour is absorbed.  Spread this mixture in the prepared 9×9 inch pan.  Dough will be quite thick – dampening the fingertips helps spread the dough in the pan.

PearBar (2)
Spread the pear mixture over the top of the dough.

PearBar (3)
Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the pears.

PearBar (4)
Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 35 minutes until cake is done and topping is golden brown.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack and cut into 9 bars.

PearBar (5)Servings: 9 

PearBar (6)


WP-kit-top
I have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years. Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some are inherited, some were purchased at antique malls and thrift stores – all are precious to me. Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays. Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years. Each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.

WALL POCKET
A vase usually with a flat back for attachment to a wall

I have a small collection of vintage wall pockets that are displayed year-around. Three of them were gifts from my daughter …

WP-kit-horse

 

WP-kit-Dutch

WP-kit-pear

…and one pocket I bought about 25 years ago because it matched my 1952 wedding china.

WP-kit-ivy

These pockets hang on one part of the overhang in my kitchen.

WP-kit-bot

Another pocket from my daughter is another horse/horse shoe combination that hangs over my living room door …

WP-horse-LRI’ve heard some people say the horse shoe should be pointing up to hold in all the good luck and others say it should be pointing down to pour forth good fortune. I have one of each, so I’m covered either way.


On September 14, 1995, my oldest daughter and I were planning to leave the next morning to take the youngest daughter on a surprise pre-wedding bachelorette trip to Cleveland to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which had just opened on September 2.  For supper, I made a 9-inch Pear Cheese pie from a recipe in a 1965 Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, using a vanilla wafer crust.  We all enjoyed it very much (and also the bachelorette trip).

Today, I wanted to make a dessert for lunch that would be lower in fat/calories and would make just 4 servings.  I cut the original recipe in half, used vanilla wafers in place of the crust, and made these very good individual Pear Cheese Cups.  Use a deep custard cup – my granddaughter in St. Louis gave me some nice Pampered Chef deep cups which also have lids.  They are especially good for transporting desserts to my daughter’s house for lunch each Friday.

PEAR CHEESE CUPS

  • 4 vanilla wafers
  • 2 cups fresh ripe Bartlett pear slices  (about 3 medium pears)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 oz softened light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • ¼ tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Have four deep custard cups at hand

Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each of 4 deep custard cups.

Place ½ cup of pear slices in each of the cups.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk and cream cheese, beat smooth.  Whisk in sour cream, lemon peel, lemon juice, sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg.  Pour over pears in each cup (about ¼ cup each) and spread to cover pears.

Bake @ 375 degrees F about 25 minutes until brown around the edges and just set.  Let cool on a wire rack.

4 servings.  Good room temperature or chilled.  This is a light, delicious dessert. 



It’s almost time for fresh blackberries and I wanted to use a bag of frozen blackberries before the farm markets open.  I needed 4 cups of fruit and only had 2-1/2 cups in the bag of berries, so I used a can of drained pear slices, which made the measurement exactly right.  Fresh blackberries can also be used but if you are substituting fresh pears, saute them first in a little butter until fork tender so they will be done within the 30-minute baking time.

BLACKBERRY PEAR COBBLER

Filling:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 15 oz. can sliced pears in juice, drained (about 1-½ cups)
  • 12 oz. bag of frozen blackberries, thawed, with juice – about 2-½ cups
  • 1 Tblsp. butter
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger

Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Have a 9×9 inch baking pan/dish at hand

To make filling:
Drain the pears – I like to save the juice in a jar in the freezer to substitute for a cup of cold water when making Jello.  A mixture of different juices makes it really flavorful.

Cut the pear slices in half.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar, cornstarch and boiling water over medium heat until mixture begins to boil; continue stirring and cooking for another minute.  Remove from heat and add blackberries and pears.  Stir in butter and spices and pour into a 9×9 baking pan/dish.  Set aside.

To make topping:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the shortening with your fingertips.  Stir in the milk to make a soft dough.

Drop the soft dough by spoonful onto the hot filling.

Bake @ 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Place pan on a wire rack to cool.

Good warm or at room temperature.  Delicious plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


pears-02Twenty years ago, I bought a cookbook that specialized in all kinds of muffins to give my daughter-in-law in St. Louis for her birthday.  I don’t recall the name of the book, but before I put it in the mail, I copied a lot of interesting muffin recipes.   This is one of them, a family favorite for over 20 years.

GINGER PEAR MUFFINS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (Canola)
  • 3 Tblsp. molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups peeled, diced pears (or one 15 oz. can pears, drained and diced)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, BOTTOMS ONLY (to allow muffins to “dome”)

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

whiskIn a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, molasses and egg.  Pour all at once into the flour mixture and stir just until flour mixture is incorporated.

enplaceGently stir in the diced pears and chopped walnuts.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

tinRemove muffins from tins and place on a wire rack.  Serve warm.  These muffins freeze well. 

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