This post is sponsored by Harry & David and features their Delux Signature Gift Basket, plus a fabulous Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping!

Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping

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On a recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina, to attend the Food Blog Forum at the Biltmore Estate, I was a lucky girl to be one of more than 100 food bloggers, chefs and foodies who gathered to talk, learn, eat, mingle, and enjoy delicious foods and fine cuisine in this adorable city! The sponsors were some of the best, Harry & David being one, and our hosts were Jaden and Scott Hair (Steamy Kitchen), Todd Porter and Diane Cu (White on Rice), Lindsay Landis (Love & Olive Oil), and Julie Deily (The Little Kitchen).

Asheville, North Carolina

Food Blog Forum.

This event was one of the most organized and informative team-building food conferences I’ve attended, where we covered topics such as social media strategy, pitching and working with food publications, food photography, how to get your family involved {loved this}, brand relations, and how to monetize your blog. They also talked about real-life values and goals through social media, and how we can help one another through our missions, sharing, promoting, and connecting through our blogs. Julie has been the most helpful to me over the past year, in helping me grow my blog. It’s her gift– sharing with others, which is why she is part of this conference. I love the food blogging community! (I’m loving Harry & David’s new branding for their 80th Anniversary. Which, by the way, they gifted 2 bloggers with a year of Fruit of the Month Club! WOW!)

Asheville, NC @Foodtopia @FoodBlogForum @biltmoreestate #FBFAsh

I also enjoyed meeting Lisa and Jason, from 100 Days of Real Food. If you don’t have their new book – buy it! You’ll love to read about Lisa’s journey of 100 days of eating real food in her household with her family!

Asheville, NC @Foodtopia @FoodBlogForum @biltmoreestate #FBFAsh

Gina {Skinnytaste} was my rooomie, and of course we talked, like giddy girls, about blogging, family, friendships, but mostly her brand new book, The Skinnytaste Cookbook, that was hitting Amazon charts at #1 in all books, even before its release! So proud of my friend.

Asheville, NC @Foodtopia @FoodBlogForum @biltmoreestate #FBFAsh

Biltmore Estate.

One of the highlights for me was visiting the Biltmore Estate, where an evening dinner was hosted by some of the finest chefs in Asheville, with views of the 8,000-acre Blue Ridge Mountain landscape. Biltmore Estate, the former home of George Vanderbilt, that is the largest privately owned home in the nation (175,000 square feet), includes gardens, a hotel, and a winery.

Of course it made me think of one of my favorite television shows, Downton Abbey, where George’s library has 10,800 books!

They took us on a behind-the-scenes special “foodie” tour of the house, focusing on the kitchens, dining room, and basically anything food related. Which covered about 20 different rooms!

Asheville, NC @Foodtopia @FoodBlogForum @biltmoreestate #FBFAsh

Here’s the dining room, where there were at least 8 guests every night (if not more), and the table was also moved for dancing almost every night!

Foodtopia #VisitAsheville

The next day they offered an optional farm tour (Meet the Foodtopians), where they served handcrafted cheese, craft beer, wood-fired bread, and offered cooking demos and mountainside berry picking. Gina and I snuck away downtown to White Duck Taco Shop and ate a quick lunch. Of course their duck tacos were my favorite!

Asheville, NC @Foodtopia @FoodBlogForum @biltmoreestate #FBFAsh

The places to eat.

The last night we went on a food tour, in groups of about 10, to 5 different restaurants in downtown Asheville. (That’s Lindsay with her donut iPhone case:) Isa’s Bistro was probably my favorite. Their Grilled Peach and Watermelon Salad was out of this world!

The French Broad? I could bake every day with their chocolate. I really want to go back to the French Braod Choolates because I really loved meeting Jael, and if you have time, read Dan and Jael’s love story. Oh, and they also have a blog.

Asheville, North Carolina

A Spicy Perspective.

Another highlight was visiting Sommer’s home (we missed her amazing Asheville Summer Social party), who also lives in Asheville. A Spicy Perspective knows how to host a party, that is for sure. We enjoyed the leftovers, late at night, and one of these yummy drinks.)

Harry & David.

The Asheville food tour reminded me of our beautiful southern Oregon farms, vineyards, and orchards, and how lucky we are where I live to have Harry & David in our town!

Deluxe Signature Gift Basket

Deluxe Signature Gift Basket.

Right now it’s pear, gift, and giving season, so when a gift is delivered to my home, I can’t wait to rip it open to see what’s inside.

Today I’m delighted to share with you one of my favorite H&D gift baskets: Deluxe Signature Gift Basket.

Deluxe Signature Gift Basket @HarryandDavid

It’s filled with their famous Royal Riviera® Pears and complementary savory snacks:

Approx. 6 Royal Riviera® Pears (2 lb 14 oz)
Approx. 2 seasonal apples (14 oz)
White cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Mixed nuts [almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts] (4 oz)
Three-Seed Crackers (4 oz)
Pepper and Onion Relish (10 oz)
Net Weight: 5 lb 2 oz

When this gift basket was delivered to my house, I decided to make a dessert with pears and apples, using the mixed nuts for the topping. (Plus, their baskets and containers are very repurposable, sturdy, and handsome, I might add:) I always look for the ONE golden pear, don’t you?

Deluxe Signature Gift Basket @HarryandDavid

Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping.

A skillet cobbler with a delicious nut and coconut topping!

You get it started on the stovetop, adding in the fresh, sliced fruit.

Sprinkle with the topping.

Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping |

Bake and enjoy.

Pull it out of the oven and ENJOY on top of vanilla ice cream, or in a bowl by itself.

To me it’s the perfect autumn treat to serve to your guests, with a sweetness and tartness that is the perfect way to end any dinner party!


What’s your favorite way to cook with pears and apples?

Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping

Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping
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Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping

Adapted from I used Harry & David’s Bartlett Pears and Honey Crisp Apples. You can make the topping and store it in the freezer (in a zip-top plastic bag) for up to 3 months.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 -8 servings
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  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1/2 cup apple butter or applesauce
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 4-5 firm, Honey crisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4-5 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, I used H&D’s mixed nuts—almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch table salt


  • Heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Gently combine the topping ingredients: Pecans, brown sugar, coconut, butter, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
  • Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar, flour, fresh chopped ginger, and salt; cook, stirring, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is smooth for a few minutes. Whisking constantly, add the apple butter (or applesauce) and lemon juice and cook until boiling, about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the apples. Cook, stirring gently, until just barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add the pears and gently toss until coated and hot, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is very tender and the topping is browned, 25 to 35 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the juice to settle and thicken before serving.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

Apple Pear Skillet Dessert with Pecan Coconut Topping at

Harry & David sponsored a portion of my trip. This post also contains some affiliate links.