Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (Wiley, 1998).
Comice Pears – the “Christmas Pear” – Unite
Our recipe this month features the delicious comice (say "co-meese") pear from the Loire Valley of France, which readily adapted to growing in the valleys of Western Oregon in the late 19th century. Indeed, the comice pear ripens in late fall and early winter and is available in stores from November through January. As with most pears the ripe comice is greenish-yellow but natural hybrids with reddish tinges were first found in Medford, Oregon in the 1960s. By the 1970s these beautiful "Christmas Pears" were perfect for gift baskets during the holidays and are now widely available.
Of course, nobody should eat a comice pear from Oregon without knowing that in 2005 by resolution of the State Legislature the pear (Pyrus comunis), including the Comice, Anjou, Bosc and Bartlett, were designated the official fruit of the State of Oregon.
Herewith a bit of that resolution:
Whereas organic, commercial and multigeneration family orchards all contribute high-quality fruit to Oregon’s fresh pear industry, making the pear Oregon’s top-selling tree fruit crop and its 10th largest agricultural commodity; and
Whereas the State of Oregon does not have an official state fruit; now, therefore,
If you don’t believe us here is the link:
Butter for greasing the pan
1/2 cup sugar
2-4 pears (we needed only two Comice pears)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 10” pie plate or 9x5x2 shallow baking dish and sprinkle with sugar. Peel, core and slice enough pears for one layer on the bottom of your baking dish.
2. Beat the eggs until foamy. Add the sugar and beat until thick
3. Add the flour and beat until the egg mixture is creamy and thick. Add the cream, milk, vanilla, and salt.
4. Pour the batter over the pears. Bake until nicely browned and a knife comes out clean —about 40 minutes.