Monday, March 18, 2013

Asian Pear Puree with Chinese Five Spice Seasoning

pear puree

We came across some lovely Asian pears at the farmers' market this past weekend, and they inspired a new baby food with an Asian flare. I used my Penzeys five-spice seasoning, but if you don't have any, you can do 1 small dash each of cinnamon, ginger, star anise, anise seed, and cloves.

If you haven't had Asian pears, they're kind of like a cross between apple and pear flavors and have a much more watery texture than "regular" pears. They're great for juicing and pureeing, but not so much for baking because of the high water content.

The recipe below calls for pureeing the flesh only and discarding the skins. I've made pear sauce both ways, with and without the skins, and I like without best. Asian pears have a more substantial skin than regular ones, so I think leaving the skins out it is the way to go with this recipe. That said, I made a test batch with the skins on, and my toddler inhaled it. She said, "Hallie like this apple sauce. Taste good in my mouf." If you want a more textured puree, feel free to leave the skins on.

If you can't find regular pears, substitute a few regular pears and an apple.

asian pears

Printable Version Here
Makes about 1.5 cups of puree

Ingredients
1 pound of Asian pears, sliced and cored
1/16 tsp. Chinese five spice seasoning

1. Heat a pot with about an inch or two of water at the bottom to boiling. Insert your steamer.

2. Toss in the pear slices. Make sure the pears aren't actually getting wet - just steamed.

3. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the pears are easily pierced.

4. Cool.

5. Scoop the flesh from the skins and discard the skins.

6. Toss the flesh into a blender and puree, then stir in the five-spice seasoning.

7. Taste and add more seasoning if you'd like. I doubled the spice (1/8 tsp). for my toddler, but I think that'd be a little strong for babies.

Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays, pop into a freezer bag, and use within 3 months.

Bon appétit!