Pears are members of the rose family and are related to the quince and the apple. Called by Homer in The Odyssey the “gift of the gods,” the history of the cultivation of pears can be traced back three thousand years to western Asia. For Louis XIV, pears were a luxury item in his court. Colonists brought pears to the U.S. and the first pear tree was planted on American soil in 1620.
A single pear provides 22% of the recommended daily value of fiber, 12.4% of the daily value of vitamin C and 10% of the daily value of vitamin K. They are also a good source of copper.
Vitamin C and copper are antioxidants. Vitamin C is essential for good immune function. Vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, directly kills many bacteria and viruses, and regenerates Vitamin E (an antioxidant that protects fat-soluble areas of the body).
Copper helps protect the body from free radical damage as a requisite part of superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is a copper-dependent enzyme that eliminates superoxide radicals. Superoxide radicals are a type of free radical generated during metabolism and when white blood cells mount against invading bacteria and viruses. Superoxide radicals damage cell membranes if not quickly eliminated.
Fiber is good for colon health and lowers cholesterol. It also binds to cancer causing chemicals in the colon and prevents them from damaging colon cells.
Pears are also delicious and provide a delicate, buttery flavor when cooked, making them a perfect addition to large, fruited pancakes.
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3 medium sized organic pears, ripe but firm, sliced into 1/4″ slices
3/4 cup whole organic milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 large organic eggs
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners sugar for dusting
You will need a 14″ ovenproof skillet. Preheat oven to 450°F.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Do not let it brown. Transfer 3 tablespoons of melted butter to a blender. Cook pear slices in the remaining butter in the skillet, tossing lightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
While the pears are cooking, add milk, flour, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt to butter in blender and blend until smooth.
Pour batter into skillet over pears and transfer the skillet to the middle of the preheated oven. Bake until pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve hot.