Cast Iron Pear + Apple with Maple Fried Garden Herbs


With all the incredible kitchens and talented chefs I’ve had the pleasure to  witness and worked with over the past 25+ years, be it Italian, Nepali, Russian, Chilean, Norwegian  or straight-up American supper club cuisine, one culinary truth is common knowledge behind every butler hinged door. Simple pairings can equal magical flavors.

Real, ingredients, uncomplicated. Try this simple recipe for apples and pears. Prepare it for the dessert, hors d’oeuvre, or balance the flavor profile of a rich, savory main course. Wonderful with a full body red, such as pinot noir or syrah. This dish stands out best as the lone sweet feature of the meal.  


2 Cast iron pans

3 Apples (granny smith if available to you or another tart apple variety such as Braeburn, Rhode Island Greening, Cripp’s Pink, Winesap, Arkansas Black, Cameo or Cortland.) Cut in half the long way, cored and seeded, but left unpeeled and stem remaining for added nutrients + a rustic look.

2 Pears, red Bartlett or red d’ Anjou. Quarter cut the long way, cored and seeded, but left unpeeled and stem remaining…

4-6 Tablespoons pasture butter. Avocado or olive oil for a vegetarian/vegan option.

3-4 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 stem each, rosemary and tarragon (destemmed) + 6 sage leaves, rinsed and dried of any moisture after rinsing.

Chefs pinch sea salt

Freshly squeezed lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind (garnish)



  1. Start by heating up the first cast iron pan. Dash a little water on pan, if it sizzles, then the pan is ready to go! Add butter or oil and maple syrup, swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. When oil/butter begins to sizzle, place fresh herbs in the oil and fry for about 1 minute. Remove when herbs begin to brown but are still mostly green. Avoid burning herbs or butter by lifting pan off heat or bringing heat down slightly. When done, place herbs on a paper towel to crisp up and absorb any excess oil.
  2. Add additional butter and maple syrup + apples and pears (face down) in the first pan while it’s still hot. Let the fruit sizzle in butter and maple for about 3 minutes on a medium high heat.
  3. Begin to heat up another, seasoned cast iron pan on a second burner.
  4. turn off the heat on the first pan, remove the fruit from the butter & maple, and place them face-down on the 2nd, now hot cast iron pan. Let the fruit sizzle once again, developing a golden brown color, then remove from the pan and place on plates or serving tray, face up.
  5. Place the crisp herbs evenly over the apples and pears.
  6. Cut a lemon in half and lightly squeeze fresh lemon juice, sparingly over the apples and pears. Add a little lemon zest, and a pinch of coarse sea salt over the entire dish. Enjoy it while warm and crisp, however, this dish works well at room temperature too.

Prep Time:  20 Minutes

Cooking Time:  20 Minutes

Serves: about 10 


Both apple and pear are cool in temperature, sour-sweet in flavor, and route through the lungs and stomach. Apple also routes through the heart, large intestine and spleen. Both fruits also tonify Yin (cool-moisture), and apple additionally tonifies Qi (energy) as well. Apples help to counteract Heat, and remove Toxins from the body. Pear aids in resolving Phlegm and also counteracts Heat. Butter is warm in temperature, sweet in flavor, routes through the stomach and spleen, tonifies Yin, promotes Blood circulation and counteracts Cold. Olive oil is neutral in temperature, sweet in flavor, and routes through the liver and spleen. Avocado oil is cool in temperature, sweet in flavor, routes through the large intestine, lung, liver, and spleen, and tonifies Yin and Blood. Maple syrup is warm in temperature, sweet in flavor, routes through the liver, spleen, stomach and lungs, tonifies Qi and promotes Blood circulation. Rosemary, sage and tarragon are all warm in temperature, pungent and bitter in flavor (rosemary and tarragon may also be sweet in flavor.) All three herbs route through kidneys and lungs. Sage and rosemary both route through the liver and the heart. Additionally, sage routes through the uterus. Rosemary and tarragon both route through the spleen, and tarragon also routes through the stomach and large intestine. Rosemary and tarragon tonify Yang. Sage tonifies Qi. Sage reduces Wind Heat, Wind Cold, counteracts Heat, resolves Phlegm, counteracts Damp. Rosemary counteracts Cold, resolves Phlegm, counteracts Damp, drains water, and counteracts Damp Cold. Tarragon counteracts Damp, resolves Phlegm, counteracts Cold, promotes Qi circulation, and reduces Wind Cold.

Western Nutritional Information:

Apple helps to cleanse the liver and gallbladder and helps soften gallstones. Apples are rich in pectin and fiber. They help lower cholesterol and promote beneficial intestinal flora. They provide small amounts of many minerals including potassium, magnesium and calcium, plus vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Apples antioxidants protect against heart disease, cancer and asthma. The apple family is a subfamily of the large rose family. Freshly harvested apples have their own waxy coat, protecting them from shriveling. This coating can be washed off with a simple vinegar/water solution. There are over 7,000 varieties of apples, yet for some reason, only 20 make up 3/4 of US crops. Granny smith apples are the most nutrient dense apple in the commercial produce market, and they have the longest shelf life alongside fuji apples. Buy organic apples when possible. Commercial GM apples are susceptible to bacteria and virus, which means they require more pesticides, apples are among some of the most chemically contaminated fruits. Pears are easy to identify by their shape (like a bell.) Pear tress can bear fruit for 75-100 years. Fresh pears are over 80% water, they provide carbohydrates and fiber, are rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus with trace amounts of Vitamins A, C and protein. Maple syrup is around 60% sucrose- high in carbohydrates, 50 calories per tablespoon with small amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and sodium. Native Americans in the Northeast were the first to develop technology to harvest maple syrup. With white sugar being 99% sucrose, maple syrup is a healthier option, but may still cause insulin and adrenaline reactions. If you live in a warm climate, refrigeration of maple syrup is recommended. Rosemary is a potent antioxidant, that aids in slowing the aging process, reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, prepared in a tea it’s recommended for headaches as an alternative to aspirin. May help ease chronic fatigue, poor appetite, low blood pressure and weak circulation. Rosemary also aids in lung congestion, sore throat, and canker sores. It’s stimulating to the nervous system and promotes mental function & memory. Rosemary also makes an excellent rinse for hair or an invigorating bath! Tarragon originated in Russia, and is a favorite ingredient in French cuisine. It is a member of the daisy family. Tarragon contains the flavonoids quercetin and patuletin. It’s a diuretic herb that supports the digestive system and helps to reduce fever. French tarragon flowers are always barren. Hundreds of years ago tarragon produced fertile seed, but propagation by division of root cuttings were favored, and fertile plants were irretrievably lost. Sage is a decongestant, astringent for inflamed skin, treats against colds, flu, and fevers and increases estrogen while helping to minimize menopausal sweats. Traditionally, desserts are the last part of the meal, but in earlier times they contained, fruit, spices and herbs that assisted in digestive aids. Desserts are intended to end a heavy meal on a light note.

*The content of this website is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Suggested Reading

Roehl, Evelyn. Whole Food Facts. The Complete Reference Guide. Healing Arts Press. Rochester, Vermont. 1996.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods. Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. Third Edition. North Atlantic Books. Berkley, California. 2002.

Wood, Rebecca. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. Fully Revised and Updated. Penguin Books. New York, New York. 2010.

Leggett, Daverick. Helping Ourselves. A guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics. Fully Revised and Expanded Edition. Meridian Press. Totnes, England. 2014.


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