I’ve been loving pears these days, as I tend to do through the last days of summer and first days of fall. I made up a new virgin cocktail recipe I call “The Sweet Tart” yesterday and a new confection recipe, “Light Chocolate Mousse” today. Both are plant-based recipes and vegan, with the sweetness of ripe pears. No added sugar is in either one. No dairy.
The Sweet Tart
2 very ripe pears
1 soft juicy lime
Cut the pears into small pieces, juice the lime, and blend until it’s all very smooth. It has the natural sugar of the pears balanced with the fresh tang of the lime. Add some ice and pour it into a large glass. It’s filling and refreshing and tastes a lot like the candy of the same name.
Light Chocolate Mousse
1 very ripe pear
1 small ripe avocado
1 heaping tablespoon of powdered cocao, unsweetened
Cut the pear into small slices, cut the avocado into small sections, add the cocao and blend well until it’s very thick and creamy like whipped cream. It comes out looking like milk chocolate mousse, but it’s just the pears and avocado combining. You’ll want to use a spoon for this one.
I have a special love of trees. A pear tree lived in the corner of our backyard garden when I was in the Bronx, during my post doctoral fellowship in viral oncology at the Albert Einstein College of medicine. Each fall, for the 13 years we lived there, we looked for the pears. It produced hundreds of them, more than we could every count. From the day they bloomed in spring until they ripened, my daughters and I looked forward to the pears dropping from the tree. We washed, peeled and quartered dozens of them for childhood friends who visited. I made them into pear tartatins (also without dairy) for Thanksgiving. I boiled large pots full of them down into jam, gelled with the pectin in their skins.
Our last year in the Bronx, new neighbors moved in, climbed the pear tree before any pears fell, and picked it clean. It was the year to leave anyway, with the coming of college years for my daughters. I miss the pear tree sometimes, and the comfort of its yearly cycle, the delicious abundance of its pears. But ripe pears from the vegetable stands or farmers market in Queens where we live now still bring the joy back.
One of the central charaters in my third novel, Brindle 24, has a love for trees that’s much like mine. She is from a small town, as I am, and lives close to nature with her small family. In the story, fracking for natural gas comes to her community, having an effect on the trees, the animals, and health of the local residents.
You can find that story in print or ebook at these links: