Last month, we had known “All About Apples.” This time, we are going to know “All About Pears,” how to store, use and freeze pears.

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How to Make the Most out of Your Pears 1

Arlene Dickinson / Facebook Page

Did you know that Wenatchee River Valley and Entiat River Valley are the two best spots for growing pear varieties in the world? Stemilt pears are grown in these places.

Imagine alpine mountains and pristine rivers surround pear orchards. It provides the cool temperatures and high-quality air drainage that your favorite pear varieties need to thrive.

The farms here grow classic pear varieties like Bartlett pears, Anjou pears, Bosc pears, and niche varieties like Comice pears, red pears, and Concorde pears.

Pear Storage & Ripening Tips

Unlike other fruits, pears ripen from the inside out so by the time they are soft on the outside, the inside flesh may be overripe and mealy. So, remember these tips on storing them.

  • Store ripe pears in a refrigerator set at 35 to 45 degrees
  • Unripe pears should be left at room temperature in order to induce ripening
  • If you want to speed up the ripening process, place pears in a brown paper bag. This traps ethylene (a naturally occurring gas) which pears produce as they ripen.
  • Just like pears, you can also place pears next to bananas or avocados in order to ripen fruits naturally. Both release ethylene as they ripen.
  • Some pears (like Bartlett) change color as they ripen, but many do not
  • To determine if a pear is ripe, check the neck of the pear daily. Apply gentle pressure with your thumb to the stem end of the fruit. Once it gives slightly to pressure, it is ripe and ready to enjoy.
  • Enjoy pears within a few days after you achieve the desired ripeness

How To Freeze Pears

Freezing helps you enjoy your favorite pear varieties all year long. There are two ways to freeze pears:

First, wash, peel, and core each pear. Make sure the pears you use are ripe, but not overripe.

Next, cut the pear into even, thin slices. The number of slices will vary depending on the size of the fruit.

Brush the slices with a water-ascorbic acid mixture (1/2 tsp is plenty), or a lemon juice and water mixture. This prevents the fruit from browning.

Then, choose your freezing method: syrup pack, dry pack, or your own method.

Syrup Pack: Mix 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of cold water in pot and bring to a boil. Once the sugar dissolves, place pear slices in the boiling syrup for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Pack the pears into freezer safe bags. Remove excess air. Freeze. These slices will remain good for 6 or more months.

Dry Pack: Place the pear slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze until solid. Remove and pack into freezer safe bags.

Ideas for Using Pears

  • Use pears as a bowl for holding yogurt or oatmeal
  • Enjoy pears alongside wine and cheese. Use a Pairology tool to guide you in creating the perfect pairing.
  • Poach a pear for a simple and delicious dessert
  • Turn pears into a unique bruschetta appetizer when hosting
  • Create a festive and edible centerpiece by placing both Green and Red d’Anjou pears in a bowl or basket
  • Feature winter pears on a fresh green salad
  • Spend an afternoon canning Bartlett pears to use later in the year
  • Slice fresh, ripe pears and sprinkle with cinnamon for a quick and healthy snack
  • Sweeten up a classic grilled ham and cheese sandwich with pears

I hope that these are helpful and would give you useful ideas about pears. Go ahead and try them then tell me your thoughts.