Skip to main content

HappySprout may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

What to do with all the pears you’ll be harvesting this fall

Here are some delicious ways to use your fall pear harvest

It’s always exciting when peak pear picking season is in full swing. Finally, after all those months and possibly even years of hard work, you’ll (literally) get to enjoy the fruits of your labors! You can enjoy the first few pears you pick fresh, whether on their own or as part of a delightful fruit salad. However, after a few, you might start to wonder what exactly you should do with all of these pears.

Some pear trees can produce up to 50 pounds of fruit. That’s a lot of pears, even for the most avid pear lover! If you’re in need of some inspiration for what to do with pears from your harvest, we have some ideas for you.

Cooked pears with cinnamon
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cook and bake your pears

Pear season is typically around October, just when the weather is starting to get chilly. Sweaters are coming out of closets and hot drinks are being served at coffee shops. Here are some of the best ways you can cook and bake pears to get the most out of this year’s harvest.

Crisps and pies

As they say, there’s nothing more American than apple pie, but we want to challenge that with pear crisps and pies. These desserts (or morning coffee sidekicks) are sweet, soft, and spicy in all the best ways. For these types of recipes, it’s best to use firm pears that haven’t yet fully ripened. Pears that are too ripe will be gooey and turn to mush when baked. Firm pears will soften up in the oven while still maintaining a bit of their texture.


This pear puree recipe by Martha Stewart turns overripe pears into a simple yet delicious pear dessert. All you need is ripe pears, pear brandy, and sugar. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar over the squares when serving, and you’re sure to impress your dinner guests!


Another way to eat pears fresh, without baking them with a lot of sugar, is to toss them in with a salad. There are many pear salad recipes, but it seems everyone’s favorite salad companion for pears is balsamic dressing and walnuts. Add some goat cheese on top of that, and you’ve got a gourmet salad. You can even add edible flowers from your garden for an extra pop of color! Be sure the pears you use are ripe; pears that are too hard might clash with the salad’s other textures.


If you’re looking for an afternoon snack to accompany your spiced tea, you might want to try roasting pears. Simply halve a pear and bake it in the oven. When it’s nice and soft, serve it on a plate with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, and some chopped walnuts. It’s a sweet snack that doesn’t require any additional sugars. You could even serve these as a dessert with vanilla bean ice cream.


Sometimes preheating the oven can be annoying, but there is another way to cook up some pears in a sweet way. Sauteing pears in a bit of butter and cinnamon will fill the house with delicious smells as well as produce a soft and spiced pear that you can serve over ice cream, yogurt, or even just by itself in a bowl.


While poaching pears isn’t the easiest of tasks, we’re sure you’ll love this recipe by Giada de Laurentiis on Food Network. It uses ingredients like cinnamon sticks, honey, vanilla bean, ginger, and dessert wine to create a complex and mouth-watering dessert. It’s suggested to use firm pears that aren’t too mushy, or else they’ll fall apart while being poached.

Cheese board

Charcuterie boards have become one of the most popular food trends that people are constantly striving to perfect. The best part of these beautiful boards is the flexibility to add or subtract anything you want. Pears are often featured on cheese boards, and we highly recommend them. They’re a great way to take a break from intense cheeses and seasoned crackers.

Slicing pears
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Preserve your pears

Even though the above recipes are sure to use up a lot of your pears, there’s sometimes just no way to use them all up. Of course, sharing them with friends and family is always a great way to spread the joy of fresh pears, but you might still end up with pears you haven’t used. This is where preserving your pears comes in handy.


The most obvious and popular way to preserve food is by canning. Many of us have probably eaten soft and delicious canned pears that come in fruit juice. You can easily make your own canned pears and enjoy your pears even in the depths of winter. Like the baked and roasted pear options above, it’s best to use pears that aren’t too soft when canning them. Canning means cooking them, and if they’re too soft, they will turn mushy and not hold their shape in the jar.


While dehydrated pears won’t last as long as canned pears, they will still stay fresh in your pantry for much longer than a fresh pear. If you have a dehydrator, this task is as simple as slicing your pears and putting them in the dehydrator for 10 to 12 hours. If you have to use your oven, the process is precisely the same.

There are so many ways you can cook, bake, toss, slice, pair, and preserve your large pear harvest. We suggest trying out something from every method and sharing as much of them as you can. One of the best parts of producing your own food is sharing the joy with the ones you love.

Editors' Recommendations

Rebecca Wolken
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rebecca's has written for Bob Villa and a Cincinnati based remodeling company. When she's not writing about home remodeling…
Can you grow hydroponic herbs?
Your guide to all things hydroponic herb planting
A person reaching for a head of lettuce

Many people don’t know much about hydroponic growing, let alone how to grow herbs in water. Hydroponic systems can be quite useful for both home and outdoor greenhouse gardeners but often have more initial costs upfront that can make them seem intimidating. That’s why, for growing hydroponic herbs, it’s important to know which herbs grow in water so that you have the highest chance of success with your new system.

Can you grow hydroponic herbs?
You can! Hydroponic plant growing is said to cultivate better-tasting herbs that have a more potent smell than their soil-grown counterparts. It is, however, a bit trickier than container growing until you get the hang of it. The environment needs to be more consistent, and the system itself is more of an upfront investment; however, if you’re serious about learning how to grow hydroponic herbs and maintaining a hydroponic system, it’s perfectly doable!

Read more
How long do Christmas trees last? Here are our tips on keeping them fresh for a long time
Everything to know about choosing a Christmas tree and caring for it
Christmas tree by the fireplace

When you bring home a Christmas tree, the last thing you want to happen is for it to die before Christmas. Not only are fresh trees expensive, but they're also challenging and time consuming to set up. So how long do Christmas trees last? The answer is at least five weeks, granted you give it the proper care.

If you've just brought home a fresh Christmas tree, or are planning on getting one soon, then this guide is for you! We'll explain everything you need to know to ensure that your Christmas tree lasts as long as possible, so you can enjoy the fresh pine scent and green needles through the Christmas season.

Read more
Can you grow a bird of paradise from a cutting? Here’s what you need to know to grow your dream plant
Tips and tricks for successfully propagating a bird of paradise plant
Bird of paradise plant

Whether they're found in their natural habitats in the wild or as the centerpiece in an indoor garden, bird of paradise plants are eye-catching and perfect for adding some color and tropical flair to your home. This plant is native to South Africa and is well-known for its lush foliage and attractive tropical blooms with vividly colored flowers. The plant gets its name from the stunning flower's resemblance to a colorful bird in flight.

With how stunning this plant is, it's no wonder that so many gardeners want to grow their own. However, growing one from seed can take a long time, and mature plants can be expensive if you want more than one. For most plants like this, propagation is the fastest and most cost effective way of adding them to your garden. So can you grow a bird of paradise from a cutting? Yes, and this guide will tell you how!

Read more