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What's The Deal With Pear?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
What’s the deal with pear? It’s a wonderful fruit, lovely taste, really juicy a perfectly good fruit among my favourite. While sautéing pears with spices to go with a spice cake I started to think about pear and wondered why is this fruit practically ignore by food manufacturers? Why is there no pear jam or jelly? Think of it just about every fruit is sold either in either jam or jelly. Not to mention pies, cake or cookies. So why not pear?
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
post #2 of 6
Iza, we just made Pear Butter tonight at the restaurant. You just macerate the pears in a little lemon juice and sugar, then cook them with a bit of water, a vanilla pod, a chunk of ginger, some pear brandy and a goodly amount of sugar, until they are pulpy. It makes a sort of compote if you will.

I think the reason manufacturers don't like to deal with pears is probably the virtual absence of pectin in the skin. But I don't know that for a fact. Anyone else wants to take a stab at it??
post #3 of 6
The point about lack of pectin is spot on. If you use enough sugar to make it jell, you've used way too much for the flavor. Also, the shape (especially of Anjou) makes it really hard to peel/process by machine, which big manufacturers do. If you do it by hand it takes a lot of time and work, so it becomes expensive. You're right, it IS a shame.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #4 of 6
At our staff Christmas party last year, we played a form of family feud. One question was "what fruit are typically not used to make pies?" The number one answer was pear! I was quite outraged because I love pear pie. I think it has a much greater depth of flavour than apple and pear desserts are heaven to me. One of my favourites is the Pear Charlotte in The Cake Bible.
post #5 of 6
Could it also be because pears are a less reliable fruit as far as quality goes? A good pear is so much better - but then, lots of times, you can only find pears that are nothing more than gritty, watery, tasteless blobs. Bad pear!

I love pear butter. I get it sometimes from the farmers' market here, lovingly handmade by Mennonites. However, though there is a local Apple Butter festival, there is no Pear Butter festival.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recipe Anneke, I will give it a try. I have so many pears in my fridge right now. I'm suppose to be making pear and almond tart...

That Risa is my favourite dessert. If you decide to try it, just be sure to poach the pears before otherwise they release too much juice and the tart get soggy. When buying pears to poach use unripe pears. They will hold their shape better and once poach no one can tell. I’ve also usefd pear and almond in muffins, very tasty too.

Suzanne couldn't liquid pectin be added to the jam or jelly ? Then you wouldn't need to add extra sugar. True pears are fragile but if they can be peeled and canned without problems then food manufacturers should be able to do other things with it no?

I agree Rose pears are very fragile and sometime will turn bad before they even ripen. Some are worst than others the Bartlett comes to mind. I never buy them anymore I'll stick to other species.

I decided to search for pears recipes, to see if jam and preserves recipes exist. It does! Here are a few recipes. The pear and ginger jam sounds really good.

Pear Relish

6 Bartlett pears
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large onions, finely diced
3 green peppers, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced

Core and finely chop pears. Combine sugar, vinegar, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil in large saucepan. Add pears, onions and peppers. Bring to a boil again. Cook slowly 25 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until mixture is thick. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Process according to jar manufacturer's directions. Makes 5 (1/2-pint) jars.

Pear & Ginger Jam

3 pounds Bartlett pears
1 orange
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup diced candied ginger
1 package powdered (1-3/4 oz.) fruit pectin
5 cups sugar

Core and finely dice pears to make 4 cups. Put orange and lemon through food chopper, or process coarsely. Combine pears, orange, lemon, candied ginger and fruit pectin. Bring to boil. Add sugar and bring back to full rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim with metal spoon. Cool 5 minutes, skim again. Put in sterilized jars and seal. Process according to manufacturer's directions. Makes 6 half pints.

Quick Pear Chutney

3 cups prepared Bartlett pears
2/3 cup vinegar
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup slivered candied preserved ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 box (1-3/4 oz.) powdered fruit pectin

Prepare the Glasses: Wash, scald, and drain glasses. (Or use automatic dishwasher with really hot, 150°F or higher, rinse water.)

Prepare the Fruit: Peel and core about 2 pounds pears. Chop finely. Measure 3 cups into a large saucepan. Add vinegar, raisins, onion, slivered ginger, and remaining seasoning to pears.

Make the Chutney: Measure sugars and set aside. Mix fruit pectin with pears in saucepan. Place over high heat and stir until mixture comes to a hard boil. Immediately add all sugar and stir. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam with metal spoon. Then stir and skim for 10 minutes to cool slightly and prevent floating fruit. Ladle quickly into hot, sterilized glasses, seal, and process according to jar manufacturer's directions. Makes 5-1/2 cup or about 5 (8 oz.) jars.

Spiced Pear Syrup

1-1/4 cups Pear Juice
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash ground cloves

Combine Pear Juice, sugar, corn syrup and spices in 3-quart saucepan. Bring to boil; stir until sugar dissolves. Boil hard for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Syrup may be frozen or canned.

For Pear Juice: Core and slice 6 (about 2 lb.) USA Bartlett pears; mash with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Heat 5 minutes or until juices start flowing. Pour through fine sieve. For cleaner syrup, sieve twice.

To Freeze: Pour cooled syrup in freezer containers; allow 3/4 to 1-inch head space. Freeze.

To Can: Ladle into clean hot canning jars to within 1/8-inch of tops. Seal according to manufacturer's directions. Place jars on rack in canner. Process 5 minutes in boiling water bath with boiling water two inches above jar tops. Remove jars from canner. Place on thick cloth or wire racks. Cool away from drafts. After 12 hours test lids for proper seal; remove rings from sealed jars. Makes 1 pint

Pear Preserves

3 cups sugar, divided
3 cups water
6 medium-sized ripe pears, peeled, cored (about 2 lbs.)
1 medium lemon thinly sliced

Cut each pear into about 6 pieces. Combine 1-½ cups of the sugar and all the water in a large kettle or sauce pot. Cook rapidly for 2 minutes. Add pears and boil gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining sugar and lemon, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until pears are transparent (about 25 minutes). Cover and let stand overnight or at least 12 hours in a cool place.

With a slotted spoon, remove pears from cooking liquid (syrup). Pack pears into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Bring the syrup to a boil and boil gently for 3 to 5 minutes, or longer if too thin. Pour hot syrup over pears in jars, maintaining ¼-inch head space. Adjust caps on jars. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath. Makes about 5 half pints.

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Iza ]
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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