As a snack or in a fruit salad, pears offer flavour and nutrition. The flavour of pears goes well with cheese and nuts, and pears make attractive garnishes for salads and desserts. Cutting a ripe pear into a fan shape on a serving dish is a basic garnish technique. Fanning a pear next to the main food attraction adds a clever touch of beauty and fun to the course.
Select your favourite variety of pear, such as Anjou, Barlett or Bosc. It type doesn't matter, but choose an individual pear that is very ripe. Do not use it if it is too hard or too soft and mushy.
Wash the pear under cold, running water and gently dry it with a clean kitchen towel.
Place the pear on a cutting board and slice it in half lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. Use a melon-baller to remove the core.
Place one pear half cut side down on the board. Slice it into 1/4-inch slices beginning 1/4 inch below the top. Leave the top intact.
Dip the sliced pear in a bowl containing ice water, a little fresh lemon juice and a little rose water. This will prevent the pear flesh from turning brown.
Situate the sliced pear half on the side of a serving dish with the peel side up. Separate the slices and fan them out from the uncut top portion so there is a uniform amount of the pear flesh showing for each slice. Now add the main food, such as salad or cheese, to the middle of the serving dish.
If there is a topping such as salad dressing on your main food course, drizzle a little over the pear fan for added interest. Use the same fanning technique for other fruits such as apples, oranges and peaches.
Exercise caution when using a sharp knife.