Friday, September 12, 2008

Pear Frustration

I have learned a few things since my last post about pears. I have learned that I do not particularly like dealing with them.

They are very hard (for me) to read. Are they ripe? They are falling off the tree- that should make them ripe, right? You are supposed to pick pears and let them ripen off the tree, right? How do you know when the right time to pick them to ripen off the tree is? Do you wait for the pink blush? Do you wait for them to turn yellow? Do you wait until millions of fruit flies have descended upon them on your front porch? Do you wait until they begin rotting? Do you wait until you are just about ready to pull your hair out because you really can't stand the thought of canning just ONE MORE THING?!!

Thank you. I feel better.

Here is more of what I have learned. Through a friend of a friend, and the vague memory of Jamey's dad looking at them when we first moved here, we think we now know what they are. They appear to be Keiffer pears. Apparently, they are a late variety- like October late. Not early September late, which is when we picked them. They have good flavor (this we have known all along and is one reason why I wanted to preserve them). They are a hard pear, with a tough, gritty center (this also we discovered on our own). Also, some people dry them with great success.

Well. OUR pears sat on the front porch for a week and then we decided to can some. Jamey and I canned 9 quarts of what looked like pears and vaguely tasted like pears, but were more like pear potatoes, they were so hard. But, we were optimistic and thought that after time in the canner and time sitting in the syrup, they would soften. After sitting in the jars for four days, still pear potatoes and the kids don't even like them.

So, two weeks later, we can again. This time, they are more yellow, softer and taste more like pears, but as the photo below shows, they look as if they are on their way out. The black spots don't penetrate the skin, which is good, but what are those black spots from?? Anyone?? They are fairly wormy and just all round a pain to work with. I canned a measly 4 quarts before calling it quits.

Ahhhh. I had such high hopes for these unsprayed, free pears of ours that we clearly have an abundance of...Oh well.

This Christmas I am going to ask for a food dryer. Maybe next year, we will be patient, pick later, dry more than can and be successful. Until then, dear pears... good riddance! Pin It


  1. From what I remember about pears... (We had pear trees where we lived a few years ago.) We picked them before they were ripe, spread them out in a spare room to ripen and a few weeks later I cut and canned them.

    Thanks for your visit to my blog a few days back. Sorry it's taken me awhile to get over here and visit with you.


  2. Thanks, Kate.

    I guess I just need a little more patience when it comes to pears:-).

    Thanks for your visit!


  3. In my somewhat limited knowledge of pears these aren't Bartlett. I think you're right on the Keiffer guess. They're not a canning pear. Make great pear butter or other pear preserves (check Mennonite Community cookbook) and are good and crunchy for eating out of hand.

  4. Thanks, V.

    I can use all the advice I can get:-).

  5. My guess is that those black spots are a fungal infection, but I'm no expert. We had a pear tree in our back yard growing up, and we usually put up pear preserves. I LOVE pear preserves and would be happy to share the recipe if you're interested.

  6. We came across that hard pear potato thing you're talking about when we lived in Georgia. Those things were so hard I thought I would break my knife on them. Looking back, I wonder why I didn't let them set a while longer to see if they would ripen. I was totally inexperienced.


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails