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what to do with fruit that refuses to soften/ripen?

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  • MarkG Mar 16, 2012 12:28 PM
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pears in recent times but also peaches. can anything be done to get them to soften??

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  1. Put them in a brown bag, with a banana.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      brown bag with a banana?? sounds like a bad joke but i'll try it

      1. re: MarkG

        Ethylene gas, it's what ripens fruit.

        1. re: wyogal

          It helps ripen some fruit, but not all. Many fruits are non-climacteric and do not respond to ethylene (and C02), e.g. citrus, strawberries, pineapples, lychee, cherries, and grapes. Even within a given type of fruit there are climacteric and non-climacteric cultivars sometimes.

          I've never heard of a banana that wouldn't ripen. That's just bizarre.

          1. re: StringerBell

            Yep, should have said some fruit. I knew that, oops. :)

    2. When it’s clear that the fruit will NEVER soften, I cut it up and put it in juice. For pears I would use pineapple juice and for peaches, orange juice. Frozen juice concentrate works well because you can control how “syrupy” you want your juice. After a few days the hard fruit will absorb the juice and become soft and sweet. Then you can eat it like you would canned fruit or use in a smoothie.

      1. Poach them or bake them into something - pear crisp, peach cobbler. May require a little
        extra sugar.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ferventfoodie

          I have bunch of bananas that have stayed green and rock hard for over a week. It will soon be equal to that McDonalds hamburger that suppposedly never decomposed.

          1. re: rochfood

            Put them in a brown paper bag with a peach.
            ;-)

        2. A couple of posters have mentioned the brown bag. Use a regular grocery bag and make it as airtight as you can---roll the top over several times and clip it shut. This method works especially well with melons and papayas. Check every day as the fruit can ripen too far in a hurry. I am glad to know about using a banana---will try that---I just put the fruit in the brown bag. Keeps the gases in and hastens ripening.

          1. Pickle it!

            2 Replies
            1. re: pdxgastro

              I keep meaning to make Saving the Season's piquant pickled pears... They look lovely!

              1. re: pdxgastro

                Or... put a bird on it! ;)

                (Had to after seeing you're from PDX)

              2. Grill it

                1. Poach it in red wine with some sugar, cardamom pods and a half of a cinnamon stick, when the fruit is soft take it out and reduce the wine to a syrup. Serve over good vanilla ice cream.

                  1. I had bananas once that wouldn't ripen, even though I tried putting them in a paper bag. Apparently if bananas get too cold (accidentally, in storage), they will never ripen. So I took them back to the store and got a refund.

                    1. My bananas were so hard I made mofungo with them.