Friday, November 12, 2010

Pears, Pears and More Pears

A few days ago, I was offered pears... if I wanted some. Is the Pope Catholic? Of course I wanted some! All I had to do was go and pick them, and the friend who offered would be there to lend a hand and her long-handled fruit-picker with a wire basket on the end. Whooeee!

What pears you see on the tailgate above are just some of what we picked; there were more already taken to the root cellar before taking that photo, plus a few I dropped off to a neighbor on the way home. Then, I went out of town for several days immediately after pear-pickin'... and now that I'm home, it's time to do something with my pears. I have several recipes to try, and if I need more pears, the tree is still loaded.

Above is the beginning of a recipe for Belgian Pears, using small pears from my neighbor rather than the ones I picked above. If the recipe turns out good, I'll make another batch with the better pears. 

The pears are cooked at a very slow simmer in a light syrup of sugar and white wine vinegar for 3 hours covered, and then 3 more hours uncovered. It is supposed to produce pears caramelized with a real of depth of pear flavor. I found the recipe here. They could be canned in a water bath immediately after cooking, don't know if I'll do that or not since there are so few. Depends on how they taste; might not be enough left to can!

Duh, I forgot to take a photo of the pears in the pan when they were done, before I put them in canning jars. Sorry. But, here's 2 of the jars I canned:

When Mike gave me the small pears I used in the Belgian Pear recipe, he mentioned that he didn't think they had much flavor this year. I didn't pay much attention to his comment because he dips tobacco and I think that affects taste buds, nor did I taste the pears. Well, I should have listened, or at least tasted a raw pear even though they were almost as hard as rocks! The Belgian Pears turned out unbelievably good, as the reviews said... but I doubted... However, there was not a strongly pronounced pear taste so I'm going to make another batch using the good pears.

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