Texas Living

Fig and Pear Recipes for Your Fall Table

By Monica Sharp 10.21.19

When autumn leaves begin to turn, local fruits are close behind, rolling in fresh from the harvest. Pears and figs marry wonderfully in a variety of cozy, fall-ish dishes. Both fruits thrive throughout Texas, having arrived with homesteaders and Spanish missionaries centuries ago. Read on for a compilation of seasonal fig recipes and pear recipes that will brighten your fall table.

Pick a Peck of Pears and Figs

To start you off, these are a few surefire tips for when to pick your fruit.

  • Pears may be harvestable from August through November.
  • Figs boast two seasons in Texas — the first in midsummer and the second from late August to early November.
  • Pears finish ripening off the tree. Check for perfection by pressing very gently on the stem end. Feel a little give? It’s good to go!
  • Figs hang onto their branch to the very last minute. Wait until they’re ready, because figs won’t continue to ripen after they’re picked. Sure signs of fig-fetching time? The fruit necks wilt, and the fruit hangs down.
Photo by Imani Lytle

Freshly Paired

Enjoy fresh Texas produce at its finest — by doing hardly anything to it at all. Thinly slice pears and serve with cheese and honey. Aged pecorino is a favorite. Parmesan, asiago, and manchego cheese also pair well. Drizzle your pear-and-cheese arrangement with some local Texas honey. Halve your figs and place them face-down on the grill for a few minutes. Serve warm with goat cheese.

Photo by Imani Lytle

Roasted and Grilled

Slice your pears and figs and grill them; make sure you select firm fruit for this. Or, slice and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and roast at 350 F until lightly caramelized. These variations are a magical way to elevate a salad of dark greens, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of nuts.

Decadent Dish

Make fresh pear-filled ravioli lightly tossed with asparagus and Italian taleggio (brie or Bel Paese also work well, or try this recipe). Gently roast both the pears and the asparagus; fill the ravioli with chopped pear; then thinly slice the roasted asparagus and combine it with the cheese over low heat to top your ravioli.

Savory Loaves

Try a simple savory pear-and-walnut focaccia, and serve fresh with olive oil. This recipe needs no oven — just a cast-iron skillet.

Photo by Imani Lytle

For Dessert

Halve pears and poach them gently with sugar and spice — any mixture of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, cardamom, and a pinch of saffron. These are divine warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whole yogurt or crème fraîche.

Find more seasonal recipes here.

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