Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We are in Love with Pearsauce

I wish I had thought to take a picture of our entire pear tree a few weeks ago when it was covered in pears. I also wish we had picked more of them because we finally have our pear groove on.

When we bought our house there were six large Keifer pear trees in our front yard.  They had gotten extremely tall making them difficult to pick, we hadn't yet learned the best way to ripen pears and even when a couple ripened successfully, they weren't that tasty.  Eventually, we cut them down.


Back in the little orchard behind the house however, was/is a pear tree of a different variety.  We took better care to prune it and tried year after year to eat and use its fruit.  It's a tough little tree.  Not only has it survived another tree falling on it and has provided shade and shelter for our chickens but every year it gives us a nice little crop of small pears.

in the shade of the pear tree

(If any of you recognize the variety, I'd love to hear it.  They are small, tart and change from green to yellow as they ripen.  We don't spray them, so this is what the un-sprayed version of this variety looks like.)


Once we learned the best way to ripen them, I started canning them and we all started eating them fresh because they are wonderful when allowed to ripen properly (otherwise, they ripened from the inside out).  This year they were especially small so the thought of peeling and canning them was not appealing so the plan was to try my hand at making pearsauce.

Jamey picked two 5-gallon buckets full (later regretting he didn't pick more) and he carried them over to our neighbor's house who generously keeps an empty refrigerator in their basement for our use. Thank you, Marie!! After chilling them for a few days, these same generous neighbors allowed us to lay them out on newspaper on their basement floor to ripen.  On Saturday Sam brought the pears back over in our little red wagon.  I halved them, removing the stem and loaded them into pots to cook them down.


You use the same method to make pearsauce as you do to make applesauce.  I did make a couple adjustments.  First, the pears were much juicier so I needed to pour off most of the liquid before loading them into my Food Strainer (we call it a "Squeezo"-the brand my mother has) otherwise I got more of a pear juice than a sauce.  Because these pears are tart, I also added some sugar.  The hot sauce was canned and processed in a hot water bath for 35 minutes.

The result was AMAZING.  We all love it- possibly more than we love our applesauce and that is saying something.  And we have plans to turn every last pear on next year's tree into pearsauce (except those we eat out of hand, of course).  Our two five gallon buckets yielded 10 and a half quarts and a bowlful for eating and making Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread.  If you haven't tried that recipe yet, you must.  I make it most often without even turning it upside down- we just spoon it out of the pan.


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18 comments:

  1. Jane,

    We love pear sauce, too. Last year good friends of ours had some wind damage to a long-established pear tree and ended up with over 20 five-gallon buckets of pears just from the downed branch. We ended up with a bucket or two, and what we didn't eat became pear sauce. She did some in pints and a whole lot in jelly jars. Many ended up as gifts, and we are still enjoying the rest.

    Mark

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  2. They look like seckels. I just canned a bunch.

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  3. Hi Jane,
    Funny u should ask, as I just poted this same question a few weeks back when our tree was LOADED with these beautiful little yellow "pears"! After several comments it was unanimous that they are not pears but quince. They are not supposed to b eaten raw (however we've eaten them) but cooked into jam, jelly or whatever recipe you'd like to use them in. They have the consistency of an apple but taste much dryer then an apple. Our were approximately a tad larger then a golf ball. They turn a dark amber color when fully ripened. Hope this helps, here's a link to the page I checked out when I googled quince, hope it helps some. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quince

    ~ Teri ~

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  4. We love pear sauce. Especially over yogurt with granola. We got that lovely idea from Food in Jars. So glad, b/c I could eat that everyday.

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  5. My aunt had a pear tree and the pears looked just like yours. We never learned to ripen them and always made sauce and also pear pies which are delicious! I have no idea what variety they are but many in the south have a tree with that type of pear.

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  6. Ha! We're living the same life right now :) I just made pear butter (no strainer so sauce seems like too much work) and Upside Down Pear Gingerbread--3 recipes of it! Kids loved it and took it to the teachers. I'm sharing your Peanut Butter Vegetable Soup recipe with my CSA folks, too.

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  7. What's this recipe for peanut butter soup? Sounds interesting.

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    Replies
    1. You can find it here, Athanasia:-) http://www.thyhandhathprovided.com/2009/01/peanut-butter-vegetable-soup.html

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  8. Our neighbors across the street have a lovely pear tree and only make about 3 jars of pear jam...they said I could have the rest so I took advantage of the offer. I had never made pear sauce before..its a treasure! I also made pear/Jalapeno Salsa which is wicked good.

    I so enjoy your blog!

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  9. I try to read your blog regularly, but had to just play catch up since I missed a lot this summer. (No internet at the cottage). I love your recipes and your tips on canning and preserving. I also read "My Crazy Life As A Farmers Wife" and thought you might like her blog.

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  10. Did you add lemon juice just like you do with apple sauce?

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  11. Also did you find pear sauce to be a bit gritty?

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    1. Less so than I expected- it's really only slightly different in texture than our applesauce. This may depend on the variety of pear you use. We are so pleased with it we're rationing it and almost afraid to eat it because then it will be gone! :-)

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  12. Thanks Jane! I think we have the same kind of pears. My batch today came out great!

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  13. Okay, you can delete my other comments... you already have a food strainer... bet you love it though!

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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:-).

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