Red Beurre Hardy Pears
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The Red Beurre Hardy pear is a medium sized fruit and conical or pyriform in shape. The original Beurre Hardy has skin that is greenish-yellow without any overlaid color, though it is substantially covered with russeting. Red Beurre Hardys’ skin is a dull red instead of greenish-yellow. The flesh is an interesting white-cream color tinged with pink. The excellent texture of the Red Beurre Hardy is melting, tender, and juicy. The taste and aroma is reminiscent of rose water, with other floral notes.
Red Beurre Hardy pears are available in the fall through early winter.
Red Beurre Hardy pears (Pyrus communis) are a late-season sport of the classic Beurre Hardy pear from France. Red Beurre Hardys have red skin, as the name suggests. Beurre Hardy is one of the most highly valued traditional French pears because of its flavor and pink flesh. In English, it is known as the French Butter pear. The tree is moderately vigorous, with some disease resistance. It is also self-sterile and needs to be pollinated by another tree to produce fruit. The tree is a spur-bearing tree with good cropping.
Pears contain many beneficial nutrients. One pear contains about 10 percent of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C, along with other antioxidants. They also contain about 24 percent of the daily recommended value of fiber. One medium pear has about 100 calories and is fat free.
The Red Beurre Hardy pear is best used as a dessert variety eaten fresh. They combine well with nuts such as pecans or walnuts and other cheeses such as parmesan and blue cheese. Include in pork dishes, with oatmeal for breakfast, or vanilla ice cream for dessert. Slice up and dip into honey or pair with sharp cheddar for a snack. They are best when picked while still firm and left to ripen indoors. Red Beurre Hardy pears will keep for about a week.
Red Beurre Hardy and Beurre Hardy pears are part of the long French pear tradition. Pears have been grown in France since the Renaissance, where the developed their sweetness and juiciness. Today, the most popular French pears are William and Guyot. France is one of the top producers of pears in Europe.
The first Beurre Hardy pear was grown in 1820 by M. Bonnet in Boulogne, in northern France. The fruit was named after the director of arboriculture of the Luxembourg gardens at the time. Beurre Hardys are popular in both France and England. The tree does well in temperate or warm climates, but also has good frost resistance and will grow in geographies with cold winters.
Recipes that include Red Beurre Hardy Pears. One is easiest, three is harder.