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I am so discouraged!

Hanky Sep 27, 2008 09:50 AM

We have a pear tree that is absolutely loaded but I can't get the pears to ripen. Everything that I read says not to let them ripen on the tree and we have tried every suggestion for ripening. We've had them on the counter, in a brown bag with a banana, in a brown bag with an apple. We've wrapped them in newspaper and put them in a box. We've put them in a cool,dark place. Nothing! I want to make pear butter but am lost.
Any suggestions please?

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  1. j
    Janet RE: Hanky Sep 27, 2008 10:02 AM

    Take a pear to a nursery. They have experts that can help. They need the pear to id the type and then they can give you info on ripening. I would go to a local owned not big box nursery (Home Depot, Longs, Payless ).

    Also most counties have an agricultural dept. Call them for help.

    1. s
      sardis2010 RE: Hanky Sep 27, 2008 10:05 AM

      This sounds like a type of pear we had on our farm years ago, there were 7 Bartlett and a lone other variety. I assume for purposes of pollination. The lone tree seemed to be loaded every year, it produced a nicely shaped pear with a dark brownish russet like skin. It was very firm and crisp and an excellent keeper. They seemed to keep this texture, not softening like the Bartletts. My suggestion is to try a small batch of your recipe anyway. I made a pear mincemeat out of ours that was rather tasty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sardis2010
        sarah galvin RE: sardis2010 Oct 10, 2008 07:40 PM

        That sounds like a Bosc.

      2. Father Kitchen RE: Hanky Sep 27, 2008 10:06 AM

        I recall in my seminary days in Rome that some pears were stored for weeks before they ripened. Known as winter pears, we looked forward to them. So I Googled "ripening winter pears" and found something on the Oregon State Extension site. Let's hope I transcribe it accurately (I'm a bit dyslexic): http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news.... Winter pears do take extra time, so if your pears are a winter variety, just need to be patient.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Father Kitchen
          Father Kitchen RE: Father Kitchen Sep 27, 2008 10:14 AM

          See also http://members.aol.com/punksdad/2pear.... Some pears need to be stored for an extended period at about 40 degrees and then ripened.

          1. re: Father Kitchen
            Hanky RE: Father Kitchen Sep 27, 2008 10:24 AM

            Many thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I willtry them all and post back with results.

            1. re: Hanky
              Hanky RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 10:21 AM

              Just wanted to let you know what happened with my pears. I cooked them down(unripened), ran them through a foley food mill, put the resulting mush in the crockpot. I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little orange juice with just a small amount of sugar. I cooked it for a few hours, jarred, then processed it. It turned out to be an amazing pear butter. I did much the same with a plum tree that was loaded this year. I got 35 pints of each and gave about 20lbs. of each fruit to various friends and family.

              1. re: Hanky
                hannaone RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 10:38 AM

                Just for information - there is a type of Asian pear that looks very similar to standard pears, but (as with most asian varieties) it needs to ripen on the tree.

                1. re: Hanky
                  Sam Fujisaka RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 12:51 PM

                  Wonderful! Congrats!

          2. b
            bw2082 RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 11:51 AM

            This may sound kind of dumb, but why don't you try letting them ripen on the tree and disregard what you read about that. I mean you've tried every other trick.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bw2082
              oakjoan RE: bw2082 Oct 10, 2008 12:46 PM

              It could just be a type of pear that never gets soft but IS ripe. I think there are even pears that are not "Asian" pears that have this characteristic.

              1. re: oakjoan
                Father Kitchen RE: oakjoan Oct 10, 2008 01:08 PM

                Or maybe it isn't a pear at all, but a quince.

            2. paulj RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 01:17 PM

              There's a traditional Spanish stew that uses under ripe pears, gypsy pot (olla gitana)
              Here's one of several online and print versions (e.g. New Spanish Table):

              The main ingredients are chickpeas, green beans, winter squash, and pears, along with usual Spanish background ingredients (onion, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, almonds).

              I've made it, though without the pears, so I can't say what they add. But the other ingredients do work together.

              2 Replies
              1. re: paulj
                Father Kitchen RE: paulj Oct 10, 2008 01:34 PM

                I'm drooling.

                1. re: Father Kitchen
                  Hanky RE: Father Kitchen Oct 10, 2008 02:54 PM

                  Thanks to all of you. I am filing the stew recipe for use next year.

              2. Petrichor RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 03:17 PM

                My dad used to grow pears commercially. There is at least one variety that will not ripen until late December or January. These are picked at the same time as the other pears and then boxed and set aside for the next 3 months.

                1. j
                  jeanmarieok RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 08:02 PM

                  My husband grew up with a pear tree just like that - his whole family just ate them unripened. Actually, he hates ripe pears, now - he much prefers his pear unripe.

                  1. sarah galvin RE: Hanky Oct 10, 2008 09:52 PM

                    I was feeling the same. I bought a case of Anjou pears and anticipated they would soon be ripe so I could can them. Three weeks later! Today I was at the market and I saw 'winter pears'. I expect that is what I bought. So I have put them in the cellar rather than worry about doing something with them.

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