There are numerous kinds of pears, all in different shapes and colors, but many of them share the same subtle sweetness and soft texture. Because there are so many varieties, at least one kind is usually in season, but the best time of year for U.S. grown pears is July through January. Pears are wonderful for poaching and baking, and also pair well with savory ingredients like blue cheese and lamb. Whether you want to add sweetness to a simple supper or wow your dinner guests with a non-traditional Thanksgiving pie, Food & Wine's guide to pears has all of the recipes you need.

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Poached Pears in Muscat
Languedoc and Mediterranean France make beautifully aromatic, sweet Muscat dessert wines that soak into these poached pears. This recipe, which writer Steve Hoffman tasted in the town of Autignac, replaces the usual sugar with honey and counters the sweetness and floral notes of the reduced wine with some of the resinous and earthy aromas of the area's famous wild scrubland, namely bay, thyme, and fennel. A knife inserted into a poached pear should encounter about the same resistance as room-temperature butter. 
Pear Desserts
Try any one of these dessert recipes—like the apple-and-pear galette with walnut streusel or the pear tarte tatin with red-wine caramel—to learn how to use the fruit in creative and interesting culinary ways.
24 Pear Recipes
These recipes for sweet pears include flaky pies, delicious cocktails, vibrant salads and more.
Poached Pears with Prunes
Paula Wolfert adapted this lightly spiced, unusual fruit dessert from one created by chef Fatima Mountassamin of Le Tobsil, Marrakech's most ambitious Moroccan restaurant. More Recipes by Paula Wolfert More Fruit Desserts
Flaugnarde with Pears
Rating: Unrated 3626
F&W published the recipe for this not-too-sweet fruit pancake to celebrate the publication of the 2005 edition of Paula Wolfert’s 1983 classic, The Cooking of Southwest France. Flaugnarde (flow-NYARD) is a sibling of the more familiar, baked fruit dessert called clafoutis. It’s just as good for brunch as it is for dessert, served puffed and hot, right out of the oven. Slideshow: Amazing Provençal Recipes