Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Rediscover pears:

Pears are high in fibre, low in GI, perfect for a school lunchbox and available nearly all-year round.
By Motherpedia
Date: August 01 2013
Editor Rating:

Almost all year is the right time to make the most of pears according to Australia’s best known ‘cook’ and pear grower Maggie Beer.

“Being a pear grower myself, it’s no secret that I have a fondness for this delightful fruit. In winter, one of my favourite ways to cook with pears is to grill them and add to salads,” she says.

There are eight different varieties of pear in Australia that are available on a seasonal basis from January through to November. Popular pear types currently in season include Beurre Bosc, Packham and Winter Nelis.

Maggie says pears are known as the ‘cook’s friend’ because of their versatility. They can be either savoury or sweet combinations and work in cold weather recipes such as soups and fruit crumbles, accompanying roast meats or poached in red wine. 

Top tips for knowing what to do with pears.

1.  Check the neck - press the flesh around the stem gently. If it gives a little, it’s ready to eat.

2.  Ripen in the bowl - pears soften best in the fruit bowl (and look good too!), but if you need to get them ripened sooner, place them in a brown paper bag with a banana.

Maggie has teamed up with other chefs and cooks in a new cookbook called Rediscover Australian Pears. To give you a taste of what’s included, here’s a delicious and light shared dish from Maggie Beer that's suitable to include in a casual lunch, or with drinks in the evening.

Ricotta with honey and pears


Serves: 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes


180g fresh ricotta

1 ripe pear in season

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 to 4 tablespoons honey


1.  Buy the best fresh Ricotta you can find. It’s easy to expand this recipe by buying a large round cake of ricotta to feed more people. Simply multiply other ingredients to suit the weight of the whole ricotta. It looks wonderful on a large round plate.

2.  Slice pears lengthways and remove cores and squeeze with lemon juice so that they don’t oxidize and place around the ricotta, then pour a big, rich, gutsy honey over the top and serve.

3.  This requires a thick natural honey which is more savoury than sweet. Mallee or Leatherwood honey would be great!

4.  Serve as a shared dish in the centre of the table.

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