Asian pears have never tasted “finished” to me. Surely they would taste better if not grown here in the Central Valley of California — perhaps grown in volcanic soil like the Napa Valley or in the coastal air of See Canyon near San Louis Obispo where so many remarkable apples appear each fall. I don’t know!
Last week I stumbled on a flat of those “unfinished” Asian pears for $3, grown in the Central Valley. It was time to figure out how to “finish” them. Being three dollars lighter, I sailed for home dreaming of what I might concoct.
It’s probably no coincidence that Asian pears and gooseberries reach maturity at the same time. They are amazing together! Gooseberry becomes the dominant note and color. The pears provide a bright juicy crunch, a perfect foundation for the intensity of the gooseberries–a jaw-dropping gourmet dessert creation.
If you have access to ripe red gooseberries, you must try this. It takes just a little time but is super simple. The secret is to have a stash of gooseberry syrup which is simple itself. Our stash sits as a collection of ice cubes in a freezer bag. Put together your own stash, if you can.
This dessert is made of slices of Asian pear, drizzles of gooseberry syrup, and a scoop of gooseberry ice cream. Assembly is quick and fun. You will feel like a food artist when you are done. And, your family will declare you to be a dessert genius.
If you have any gooseberry syrup leftover — that tablespoon that you cannot waste — use it later as a dip for slices of Asian pear. So much for that “unfinished” feel on the pears!
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