As a newbie to the fruit industry, I didn’t really know much about pears before working at Stemilt. Now that I’ve tasted different varieties, I’ve realized just how awesome they are. Pears like d’Anjou, Bosc and Concorde are great culinary varieties as they can withstand high temperatures without breaking down and becoming mushy. When pears are ripened correctly, they have a great texture, sweet aroma and extraordinary flavors that will add wonders to any type of entrée. So, in honor of the amazing things pears can do for you in the kitchen, I rounded up a few of my favorite pear recipes for the holiday season that highlight the unique flavor profiles of multiple varieties.

Baked Caramel Pears with Chocolate and Sea Salt – These simple to make Baked Caramel Pears with Chocolate and Sea Salt will be gone in a flash at your next bash. The classic flavor of the Bartlett pear pairs well with the sweet caramel and decadent, melted chocolate. Add in a few dashes of sea salt and top with the light crunch of sliced almonds, and voilà! You have an amazing treat. If Bartlett isn’t available, give d’Anjou pears a try for this recipe.

Maple-Rosemary Roasted Pear Bruschetta – This isn’t your grandma’s bruschetta. This Maple-Rosemary Roasted Pear Bruschetta is the perfect appetizer as it has the perfect balance of both sweet and savory. The crunch of the toasted baguette works wonders with the smooth texture of the Bosc pears. Bosc pears carry a pleasant fall-like flavor, making the maple syrup and brown sugar a heavenly combination. Add in the cranberries, blue cheese, fig jam, prosciutto and candied walnuts, and you have an appetizer your guests won’t be able to get enough of.

Simple Maple Vanilla Baked Pears – If this recipe doesn’t say the holidays at its finest, I don’t know what will. These scrumptious Simple Maple Vanilla Baked Pears are just that – simple. Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction created this dish requiring only five ingredients, all while still amazing your guests. By combining four ripe d’Anjou pears with maple syrup, ground cinnamon, vanilla and whatever toppings you desire, you will have a simple dessert that certainly doesn’t come anywhere near tasting simple.

Cinnamon Pear Preserves – These Cinnamon Pear Preserves are all around the perfect treat – whether you are eating them or gifting them. This preserve tastes great on a biscuit or by the spoonful, making it a winner in my recipe book. Plus, this recipe makes plenty that you can keep some as well as gift a few jars, making someone feel very special when they give this recipe a try!

Warm Winter Pear Salad – If you are on the hunt for a winter salad, this Warm Winter Pear Salad should fit the bill.  This salad is simple, yet flavorful making it a great option as side dish at your holiday gatherings. The sweet Bosc pears pair well with a bed of healthy greens and a savory homemade dressing (included), making this salad an ideal fit for the chilly weather.

Tell me in the comments, what are you cooking up with pears?