Pear Honey

Pear Honey -- A Pinch of Joy The goodness of fall in a spoon!
Pear Honey -- A Pinch of Joy  The goodness of fall in a spoon!

Pear Honey – just what the name says. So sweet and flavorful. Be prepared though. One taste and it will disappear in a flash. See that little bit on the little plate in the picture? That is what is left of the whole batch. Yeh, the same day I made it!

A superb spread, Pear Honey is really easy to make. Pear Honey makes me think of turning leaves, earthy smells, and gorgeous rich reds and yellows.   It just says Fall!   No honey involved and the name may refer to the sweet, deep pear flavor itself. This is a favorite on holiday tables – but you can use it any time! It is a perfectly marvelous topper for ice cream or a crusty bread, hot biscuits or any food you can top with fruit.

I use Bartlett pears to make this. They are somewhat thin skinned so peeling is optional. Quarter them lengthwise and remove the core, then cut into small pieces about half inch square.   I cut the original recipe in half and just make it when needed and pears are in season in the grocery. If you have access to a pear tree or are able to buy pears in bulk – heaven!! Since the pears are chopped and then cooked, this recipe is a good way to use the seconds.

The pear is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree.  Harvested when mature, but not yet ripe, then left at room temperature, a pear slowly ripens from the inside out. How do you know when the pear has ripened? The Pear Bureau Northwest says to “ Check the Neck™ daily.” Apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, it’s ripe.”   After it is ripe, put it in the refrigerator to keep up to five days.    

Pear Honey

Yield: 3 cups

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Pear Honey

Pear Honey -- all the goodness of fall in a spoon.

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ cups chopped pears
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 Lemon: juice and zest OR substitute 3 tablespoons refrigerated lemon juice.
  • 2 cups sugar

Instructions

  1. Peel pears, if desired.
  2. Core and chop pears into smaller than bite size pieces. Measure into large pot.
  3. Add sugar, pineapple, juice and grated rind of one lemon (or substitute)
  4. Bring to boil and boil for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally until last five minutes.
  5. Stir constantly for the last five minutes as mixture thickens. This will prevent burning and break pears into even smaller pieces. Mixture will turn a light golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Prepare jar lids by placing them in hot water for at least one minute. Fill jars with hot mixture and wipe top lip of jar clean. Put prepared jar lids in place and add loosely tightened rings. Lids seal with a pop as the pears cool.
  8. Keep refrigerated and use within 3 months.
  9. To keep longer without refrigeration, process for 10 minutes in boiling hot water bath, let set in hot water for another five minutes before removing jars to cool. Do not store any jars on which the lids did not seal. Refrigerate those and use within three months. Processed jars that have sealed will keep up to a year as long as the seal is not broken.
  10. Recipe may be doubled.

Notes

Recipe may be doubled.

http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/09/pear-honey/

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Simply Strawberry Smoothie

Simply Strawberry Smoothie -- A Pinch of Joy
Simply Strawberry Smoothie -- A Pinch of Joy

Have to admit I’m slow to the smoothie parade.  We’ve always preferred to eat our fruit as fruit (or a dessert with fruit showing – yes!)  rather than drinking it.  But this entire long weekend we worked hard outdoors — digging, painting, planting, changing everything around.   A cold, fruity nutritious drink sounded like a great idea.  I had a big box of strawberries in the refrigerator so I quickly looked at half a dozen recipes online, and mooshed together the two simplest ones.   I was tired and didn’t want to hunt for any flavorings so I left them out.  And came up with a simply strawberry smoothie.  It was perfect. 

I’m not making any claims for this concoction – other than it was cold, fruity and hit the spot – but it totally revived our spirits and gave us renewed energy.   We flew through the rest of the chores that afternoon, accomplishing more than we thought possible.  Absolutely a life changer – for that moment in time anyway.  After all, isn’t life really about the moments?  Sitting in companionable silence amidst the chirping birds and swaying trees, savoring what has been accomplished and, with each sip, feeling more and more like the end of the list can be achieved yet this day!  Powerful stuff this smoothie!  We may be hooked! 

Simply Strawberry Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 8 ounces

Simply Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberry sweetness -- so good!

Ingredients

  • 8 strawberries, washed and hulled
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ice cubes

Instructions

  1. In blender, combine all ingredients.
  2. Spin to desired smoothness.
  3. Pour into two glasses and serve cold.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/05/simply-strawberry-smoothie/

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Mini Fruit Pizza

Mini Fruit Pizza - A Pinch of Joy
Mini Fruit Pizza - A Pinch of Joy

Mini Fruit Pizza.   Or Fruit Pizzettes.  I thought I was inventing a new word to describe individual pizzas.  Then I googled to be sure it wasn’t something obscene in some language I don’t speak.  Guess what?  The Italians, who created pizza, also created pizettes.  And that is exactly what it means.  Individual or small pizzas.  Perfect description for these little fruit tarts. 

You can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and bake 4 inch round cookies.  Or you can shortcut and use a sugar cookie mix.  Or do what I did and use the refrigerated roll of sugar cookie dough.  I cut the slices of dough just a smidge thicker than the directions specified and slightly smushed them with the palm of my hand to make them larger.   You can freeze the cookies after  baking and pull out a few at a time to make Fruit Pizzettes as needed.   The fruit topping tips it toward the healthy side.  (Right?)  The individual servings. are perfect for picnic gatherings.  You can transport the individual parts and assemble on site  which is great if traveling an hour or two to the family reunion.    Or make at home and carry in.  Makes a spectacular addition to the dessert table on a big tray!  

When cooled, spread with the cream cheese filling.  Use any fruit juice with a flavor that will complement the fruit you plan to use to help thin the cream cheese.  I used orange juice because I like the flavor.  The recipe makes enough filling to cover a dozen four inch cookies.  Two dozen cookies would require the entire 8 ounce bar of cream cheese, ½ cup sugar and two tablespoons of juice.  Cutting the fruit into small pieces makes the finished fruit pizza easier to handle and eat.  It’s a good way to use up small amounts of different fruits.  I used strawberries, green grapes and blueberries mixed together.  You can easily customize toppings on a few or all to accommodate different tastes or needs like allergies.   The combination of flavors is limited only by your imagination! 

Mini Fruit Pizza

Yield: 12

Mini Fruit Pizza

A pretty summer dessert made in individual servings

Ingredients

    Base
  • A dozen 4” plain sugar cookies, homemade, mix or bakery
  • Filling
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice (or other juice to your taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Topping
  • Fruits of your choice to make two cups total. Some possibilities:
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 1 small can pineapple tidbits, well drained
  • Fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
  • Green or purple seedless grapes, cut in quarters
  • Blueberries
  • Fresh peaches, cut into small pieces
  • Raspberries or blackberries

Instructions

  1. Make cookies ahead of time and cool
  2. Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and juice until smooth. Add nutmeg, if desired, and set aside.
  3. Prepare topping fruits, chopping, seeding or peeling as needed.
  4. Gently mix topping fruit together in small bowl.
  5. Spread filling on each cookie.
  6. Top with generous spoon full of fruit.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/05/mini-fruit-pizza/

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

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