We have a pear tree in our yard. No idea what kind of pear, but they never really soften up enough to eat raw. I have used them like cooking apples in the past to make crumble and they're delicious. Unfortunately a lot of the pears I could harvest go to waste, so, how can I store them?
Can pears be frozen? If so, how should I prepare them to be freezer ready?
Are there any good ways to can them?
Pears are always picked green. You have to pick them, store them in single layers on cardboard flats, and keep them covered with a sheet or tea towels for a couple weeks in a cool place. They will slowly produce their own ethylene, the towel traps it, and they should start to turn yellow.
It's a patience game. Also, you may have a tougher variety---Anjous will never be as soft as Bartletts. But they should still change colour and get sweeter. I like to make pear sauce as you would apple sauce, and pear chutney (great with pears that don't fall apart). The pear sauce can go into quick breads and cookies.
I wouldn't freeze pears whole they will defrost to a watery unappealing mess. But canning or creating batches of pear sauce I would recommend. And roasting!
Canning: Cook down the fruit with or without peel and add sugar to taste. Add lemon juice, fresh grated ginger and a dash of cinnamon (if u like it). Jar. So many uses for them.
Pear sauce: Cook down adjust with sugar and puree. Freezes very well. Pear sauce on duck, turkey, in sandwiches, in yogurt, on french toast, pancakes, you name it.
I love roasted pears. In an oven proof pan layer sliced pears and top with vanilla extract, rum, olive oil, cinnamon, brown sugar and lemon juice and roast until fork tender. Alone, served with ice cream, topped on Greek yogurt. Super tasty.