I always used to think I didn’t like fresh pears. I like canned pears, though, which I realize sounds odd coming from a DIY/home canning/homemade food aficionado like myself. (I have the same issue with green beans – love them canned. Fresh? Not so much.) But…you guys? I think I just had never had a ripe pear. For real. Because I peeled these beautiful pears for the baby and the juice was dripping down my wrists and I nibbled the cores as I cut the bulk of the pear off into the saucepan and whoa. They were so delicious. It was like poetry. I may have even tried to come up with a poem in my head as I voraciously gobbled all the little bits of pear that didn’t make it into the pot. But I’m no poet. We’ll just leave it at that.
I made these pears for E back when she wasn’t eating very much and had no interest in most foods. We’d tried the usual suspects. Bananas? Tolerated, but barely. Avocado? Gagged. Applesauce? Not so much. Rice cereal? She didn’t mind it at first, then decided against it. This pear recipe was the first real food that she not only didn’t flat out refuse but actually seemed to enjoy. I was thrilled.
The recipe is from smitten kitchen’s baby section and I mostly followed it to the letter. Except for the whole “measuring” thing, I pretty much just winged it on the measurements. The only substitution I made was to use a bit of vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean because I am just not the type of person who ever has vanilla beans in the house. I don’t actually think I’ve ever had vanilla beans in my house. I know. I surrender my food blogger cred, or what’s left of it anyway.
You might look at the recipe and think, “Balsamic vinegar? With pears? For a baby?” Which is pretty much what I thought. But go with it! I did and was so pleasantly surprised by the results. Plus, the baby loved it. Several months later, she’s a much more adventurous eater and will munch most anything that comes her way* but the pears are still a solid favorite. I made a few batches and have them in the freezer in little cubes, all ready to go at a moment’s notice. So now, even though she’s sort of moved beyond pureed pears, I still feed them to her because I have a soft spot in my heart for this, her first favorite food. And she still loves them.
*Except green vegetables. Don’t get me started.