Oh Baby! with Asian Pear Puree

Don't call it baby food

I don’t like the words “baby food”.  It automatically conjures up bland, boring, stinky jarred food.  While commercial baby food has come a long way – there’s still great strides to be made.  I prefer to make food for people and babies just happen to be people who need a smoother creamier texture to begin their eating experience.  Thus purees.

Not having babies of my own, I don’t make purees as often as I used to.  I still do demonstrations for new parents, but lately with being focused on school aged snacks and lunches for my kids, I  forget how much purees come in handy.  Take for instance soup.  All great vegetable soups start with a homemade vegetable purees.  And fruit purees make wonderful butters on toast, and topping over ice cream and swirled into plain yogurt.

A friend of mine had her third child and he’s almost ready for solids.  This of course is exciting for me to hear.  So when we came to their house for the older siblings to play with my kids, my daughter (her taste testing the puree in photo above) and I made and brought a puree for the baby.  He may not be ready to eat this for a few weeks, so I froze the puree into cubes and popped them in a freezer safe container, so mom is ready when the time is right.  I chose asian pear because of a few things:

1. it’s in season

2. it’s mild and sweet

3. you can’t find it in a jar

4. it’s Chinese New Year

Here’s the recipe and steps of photos.

Asian Pear Puree (from The Petit Appetit Cookbook)

Asian pears look more like an apple than a pear.  They are round and yellow with a brown speckled skin.  Inside they are sweet and juicy and very refreshing.

Makes 16 – 18, one ounce baby servings.

 3 Asian pears, washed, quartered and cored just before cooking

 Steamer Method:

Place prepared pears in steamer basket set in a pot filled with a small amount (about 1 – 2 inches, but not to touch fruit) of lightly boiling water.  Cover tightly for best nutrient retention and steam for 10 – 12 minutes or until pears are tender.  Pears should pierce easily with a toothpick.  Set pears and cooking liquid aside to cool.  Scrape pears for skin and puree in a food processor with a steel blade.  Add tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid to puree to make smoother and adjust consistency.

Freeze puree in ice cuber tray or individual molds.  Pop out cubes and store in freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

Cut asian pears, ready for steaming
Steamed and peeled pears ready for pureeing
Pureed asian pears
Ready for freezing