Pears on probation

I canned the first of the foraged “wild” pears on Wednesday night. It took me three hours to get through about a quarter of them.

I was not impressed.

Despite being yellow and beginning to attract fruit flies (I figured it was now or never for canning) they were still very hard. They were full of damaged bits and woody bits – I tried to cut out most of it but as you can see they are pretty blemished. I ate a raw one – it was crisp like an apple and the flavor was somewhat “meh”. Ok and sweetish, but nothing special. I thought cognac might bring out some extra flavor and added a tablespoon or two to each quart.

Also, the massive bowl full of peelings and discarded chunks released not one drop of juice over all that time, which means they are no good for making perry. To make a fruit drink, after all, you must first have… well, juice.

After simmering in the sugar syrup for about 5 minutes they did seem to soften somewhat; I could push them down about 2/3 of the way into the jar and add more on top. And the good part of them being so small is that you can really pack the jars efficiently.

But still. Three hours for 4.5 quarts? I’m going to crack open that pint jar in a couple days (gotta let the cognac and sugar seep in a bit first) and see what they taste like. If it’s not great, then the rest of the pears can always go towards keeping our chickens happy – they devoured the mass of peelings and cores that I shared with them afterwards. I’ll be sad about not actually having found a free-food goldmine, but at least it won’t go to waste.

One Response to “Pears on probation”

  1. Mrs. Brent Parker Says:

    If you still have these you might want to think about using them for a pear smoothy.

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