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Tell me what to do with our first bumper crop of pears!

(14 Posts)
CroissantNeuf Wed 10-Aug-11 10:22:55

We've had a pear tree for a few years and last year was the first year we had a crop but it was only 1 pear!!

This year there are loads on the tree so I need advice please:

-how do you know when to pick them?
-can you store them for long once they've been picked? (I know my grandparents used to store apples in a chest of drawers but wasn't sure if pears will keep the same)
-do they freeze well?
-what can you make with pears?

Thanks

GnomeDePlume Wed 10-Aug-11 18:06:24

Let them ripen fully then turn them into cider!

Mind that's my default setting, if it's sweet, turn it into alcohol!

Do you know the variety? Some pears store better than others.

CroissantNeuf Wed 10-Aug-11 19:17:24

I don't know the variety I'm afraid.

Like the idea of turning it into alcohol though grin.

purplepidjin Wed 10-Aug-11 20:18:57

Stew and freeze in portions for pie/crumble

Pear chutney for Christmas pressies.

Cider/wine/alcohol (don't give this away)

CroissantNeuf Wed 10-Aug-11 20:21:34

Oh yes, crumbles and pies for the winter -yum!

I probably won't bother with the chutney though as we still have a load of last years green tomato chutney to use up and some more green tomatoes in the garden as we speak.

purplepidjin Wed 10-Aug-11 20:24:25

See, I've just got round to playing with the jam setting on my breadmaker - virtually faff free jam! <trots off to freecycle to find more pots>

CroissantNeuf Wed 10-Aug-11 20:27:22

oooh I've never tried Jam in the bread machine. I might take a look at that

I use a recipe for freezer jam from the Certo website -its a doddle, no 'cooking' involved and the raspberry one is superb.

purplepidjin Wed 10-Aug-11 20:34:08

MIL and SIL bought me a bread machine for christmas. We picked up 3.11yo DNephew on Sunday (he's having a beach holiday with us) and a neighbour dropped off some plums. I offered to make some of them into jam so that she wasn't wallowing in them for weeks. It's a bit runny, but normally fussy DN has eaten 2 1/2 slices of toast with it on for supper, and would have had more if we hadn't said that was enough shock

GnomeDePlume Wed 10-Aug-11 22:27:31

Jam making is a lovely summer activity, I have bread machine but I'm still a slave to the big pan as I produce industrial quantities of strawberries on my allotment!

acsec Wed 10-Aug-11 22:28:54

Pear and plum crumble is delicious!! Pear chutneys and jams - yum smile

purplepidjin Wed 10-Aug-11 22:29:44

Mmmmmmm strawberries.

I did plum last night, and strawberry/grape this evening! Bread machine does about 1lb at a time, which is perfect for two people with a patio not a garden blush

maniacbug Thu 11-Aug-11 09:10:25

I made Spiced Pickled Pears last year, from the River Cottage Preserving Handbook (brilliant book) - they were delicious, especially in a salad with blue cheese, roast beetroot and spicy toasted pecans (if you like that sort of thing!)...

startail Thu 11-Aug-11 09:26:45

Marking my place as I too have pears and I don't much like them. Your chutney recipes sound a great idea.

mrsbrooks Fri 12-Aug-11 20:00:57

Pick when good size and colour
Prob can freeze if cook first
Only conference pears self fertilise if not you need another pear tree to fertise the current one
Need to prune after fruit finished not too far thought just into second growth on stem

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