3 Ways to Preserve Pears for Later Use

By: Pittman & Davis | On: | Category: Fruit Information

Do you not like to buy pears because you feel like they don’t last very long? You may not know how to store them – or how to choose a good pear to begin with.

A pear is ready to eat when it yields to gentle thumb pressure at the stem end. Ripe pears should not be stored on the counter but kept in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them – up to a week after ripening.

Before you decide how you’re going to store or preserve your pears, you want to make sure you’re starting with the best, premium pears. Your best bet is to order pears from Pittman & Davis. We offer many delicious pear varieties, but they are all picked while still firm and cooled quickly prior to shipping so you they arrive ready for you to enjoy them either right away or soon after delivery. If your Pittman & Davis pears are not fully ripe when they arrive, you can help them along by storing them in a brown paper bag at moderate room temperature (65-70°F) until they pass the ripeness test.

3 Ways to Preserve Pears for Later Use

If you’ve received a pear gift basket from Pittman & Davis that contains more pears than you know you can eat in a week, you have several options for preserving your pears to ensure they won’t go to waste:

Freezing. Freezing works for most any pear variety and is quite easy. First, make sure the pears you want to freeze are ripe, but not overripe. Next, wash, peel and core each pear and cut it into thin, even slices. Brush with a mixture of water and lemon juice to prevent browning, then place the pear slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then store in freezer-safe bags.

Dehydrating. If you have a dehydrator, dehydrating pears is another easy way to preserve them, and one that produces a delicious treat! If you’re looking for pear gift ideas for the fruit-lover in your life, a jar of dehydrated pears dressed with a pretty ribbon is sure to impress.

How to Dehydrate Pears

(Note: this method works better with our Comice and D’Anjou varieties.)

  1. Wash, peel and core each pear and slice it into thin, even wedges (no more than ¼” thick).
  2. Pre-treat pears to prevent browning by dipping them in a solution of ¼ cup lemon juice and 2 quarts water.
  3. Drain pears and load onto mesh dehydrating trays. Allow space around the wedges to ensure air flow.
  4. Dry at 135 ºF overnight or until fruit is dry and leathery (about 10-24 hours).
  5. Store in an airtight container (pears will be a little sticky due to their high sugar content).

Canning. Canning pears is an easy way to preserve the fruit for later enjoyment when the pears are at their ripest. Again, this method works better with our Comice and D’Anjou varieties.

How to Can Pears

If you plan on canning pears for shelf (non-refrigerated storage), sterilize jars by placing them in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes or in boiling water for 10 minutes.

  1. Wash, peel and core each pear and cut into quarters. (Note: our Comice and D’Anjou varieties are best).
  2. Pre-treat pears to prevent browning by dipping them in a solution of ¼ cup lemon juice and 2 quarts water.
  3. Add 1 quarter water to a 5-6 quart pot. Add 1 cup sugar and bring to a boil. (For extra flavoring you may can also add a dash of spice like cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, nutmeg; etc.) Transfer pear quarters from lemon-water solution to boiling sugar-water; return to a boil and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Pack pears into sterilized canning jars. Pour remaining syrup over pears to cover, leaving ½” at tops of jars. Wipe rims with paper towel and screw on lids.
  5. For long-term shelf storage (up to a year), process canned pears in jars in a water bath in a large stockpot with a steaming rack so the jars do not touch the bottom of the pan. Fill the pot ¾ with water and bring to boil; boil jars for 20 minutes.

Enjoy your harvest!

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