Tuesday, November 8, 2022

PUTTING UP KIEFFER PEARS

On a rainy weekend recently, we decided it was time to do something with the pears from our "wild" pear tree.  It's a Kieffer variety (and not really wild but it has been growing for ten years unassisted).  Instead of canning them without really knowing what we wanted to do with them, and they were a bit smaller than normal, we decided we should just freeze them for future use.  We did as we usually do when putting up other things, cleaning and chopping and freezing on a sheet pan first.  

After doing some research, we found that they can discolor quickly.  With so many to peel, we looked for a solution.  You can use sorbic acid or lemon juice, which we didn't have at the time and it was raining, so we did some research and discovered some old school methods where they put salt in the water while peeling.

Peeling Kieffer pears
I used a potato peeler to take all the skins off.  They were mottled to begin with and had something called russeting which is apparently ok to eat but after a few weeks in the fridge, yeah, no, we decided to peel them and keep them looking pretty.  Then we sliced/chopped.

We used our salad spinner (it's not just for salads!).

Pears in salted ice water to keep from browning
I filled the bowl with water and about a TBSP of salt dissolved in it.  Also some ice cubes to keep the water cold.  As I peeled, I dropped the pieces in.

Salad spinner for rinsing pears
After I was done, I lifted out the basket, poured off the water and rinsed thoroughly under cold water.  Still looking good, no browning.

Chopped/sliced Kieffer pears
I used the spinner feature a couple of times to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

Freezing Kieffer pears
I put them in single layers on two sheet pans and then popped them in the freezer overnight.  The next day, they were individually frozen and came off the sheet pans in individual pieces, ready for the last step in the putting up process.

Vacuum sealed Kieffer pears
Lastly, they were portioned into 3 cup amounts since that was about how many we ended up with that could be easily divided up.  We ended up with four bags vacuum sealed and in the freezer.

We're sure you are wondering...we each tasted a couple of slices and no saltiness at all.  They were rinsed well and it's not like they sat in the water for hours, it was just while peeling/chopping to keep them from discoloring.  They were also surprisingly sweet and "pear like".  Kieffer pears are best as cooking pears.

So they are in the freezer now, waiting for use.  Any simple pear ideas out there?

10 comments:

  1. You two are very adventurous and knowledgeable with your food stuffs.

    Love,
    Janie

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  2. I made pear butter and pear sauce, like applesauce. I cannot stand raw pears, but I wanted to dehydrate some to see if I like those. Also by dehydrating them I could keep them in a Ball jar with canning lid for a snack.

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  3. When I peel fruit that turns brown easy, I always use salt water and then rinse them about three times in cold water.

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  4. I have done the salt water thing with both apples and pears with pretty good results. I wish I had pear trees that were producing. This year we had no pears on our trees.

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  5. What a great treat to have when them cold, winter months rolls around.
    By the way; did you manage to get your garlic planted yet?

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  6. Wow, between the yams and pears and all the other stuff you freeze, you must have a big freezer - jealous (although I'd probably loose track of what all is in it, lol).

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  7. I lost one mango tree in the last hurricane here in Florida and now another is leaning, it is too windy and raining to do much about it. I still have one big one that produces for me and the squirrels. We are getting ready for the new storm to move in overnight. Hope my mango tree holds on and I will get it pulled upright and staked. It is about 6 foot taller than the house so not a small tree. If it falls it will fall on the house.

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  8. Another hurricane passing through here now. The wind is calming down but raining hard. Just another day in Florida but we do need the rain. Our farmers are happy.

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  9. Pear Crisp is very good. Like an apple crisp. I just did a Google search and picked one that used ingredients I had on hand.

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  10. Pear pie. Same recipe as apple pie, but with pears

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