We have really been enjoying this fragrant, extra-small fruit: Magness pears, a hybrid dessert pear with a complex sweetness and refreshing juiciness.
These pears are a cross between the classic European heirloom pears Seckel and Comice. They are delicately sweet, with a complex flavor that blows away the larger Bartlett pear and its lush, one-dimensional sweetness.
They do take a little longer to ripen, which means that they don't turn to mush overnight like other pears we buy. In fact, when we found them at the farm stand, the workers told us to leave them in the fridge for two weeks, then to leave them out to finish ripening for several days. They turned from pale green to a bronze russet, and right now they seem at the peak of their sweetness.
Their small size also makes them very attractive; one little palm-shaped pear is just the right size for lunch. If you see these at the markets, try a few. They're so delicious.
What fall fruit are you enjoing right now?
(Images: Faith Durand)