Wild pears. How can one use them?

Yesterday I saw many wild pear trees. The memories from my childhood urged me to collect quite a few. I remember my grandmother and my mother baking them. And we - then children loved them! I also remember my grandmother drying pears, but whether they were these wild ones??? Unfortunately I can ask neither of both. It is my turn as a grandmother to leave some nice memories to my grandchildren.

has anybody experience with processing wild pears. I would be very thankful. They are falling in huge quantities right now


Comments

  • aurora.rebecca
    aurora.rebecca Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    Make perry! (pear cider) which can in turn be left to make vinegar

  • aurora.rebecca
    aurora.rebecca Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    Or try making and “apple”sauce out of them, for keeping for later use and making cakes or cookies, or compote a nice warm drink.

    I read that Ukrainians smoked them and added them to their borscht for flavor.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @aurora.rebecca thank you very much for your tipps. How do you make “apple sauce”?

    Could one make them directly into pear vinegar before making pear cider?

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin
    edited September 2020

    You can make vinegar with the peels if you use the fruit for something other than cider. Follow the same recipe as you would for apple cider vinegar. There is an article somewhere on TGN for using apple peals. I'll see if I can find it. For apple sauce, yo would core and chop up your fruit, add sugar and water, spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mace or allspice - just cook it down... at least, that is how I do it. Some folks use a blender to make it really fine and kid-friendly. But, I leave it chunky and sometimes ad some dried apples, too, for a nice pie filling.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    Here is the vinegar link - several TGN articles https://thegrownetwork.com/?s=vinegar

  • bcabrobin
    bcabrobin Posts: 251 ✭✭✭

    I canned pear (like apple sauce) sauce, made pear butter, canned for just eating out of the jar, pear pie filling, my all-time favorite is pear pie, I love it!. My dad keep bring them home, we kept putting them up. When he was out small game hunting he would find trees, we used to laugh about how much stuff he brought home that wasn't meat. But was great to have those in the winter.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 Thank you. I have already started producing my own Apple vinegar. It is a big success!!!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @aurora.rebecca thank you very much for the apple sauce recipe. This I will definitely try out!

  • aurora.rebecca
    aurora.rebecca Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    @jolanta.wittib, actually @judsoncarroll4 beat me to it! Though my suggestion would have been pretty much the same. @bcabrobin‘a pear butter suggestion is a lovely reminder of this option (I love me a good pumpkin butter, though I forget this method is not exclusive to pumpkins 🙃), waiting for the wild pears to ripen and give it a go!

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    I like wild pears for fruit chips. I peel and slice them thinly then roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture and dehydrate! Kids go crazy for them (and the big kids too!)!!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @ltwickey Oh what a lovely idea. I have to try the fruit chips out!

  • Brueck.iris
    Brueck.iris Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    chop, dry and add to muesli

  • Brueck.iris
    Brueck.iris Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    Run through a blender and freeze - that gives you time to come up with more ideas and you can take them out of the freezer packet by packet and don't have to deal with all of them at once.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    Thank you all for valuable advice. My pears look now like this. And there are many more falling from the trees 😊


  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    I wash mine, cut and core them, and freeze them in snack-sized bags (I put many of these into a larger freezer bag). Other years I've frozen ours in large bags for pear crisp (like apple crisp but with much more nutmeg).

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    Yesterday I had an idea, how to make my wild pear jam more interesting. I found a lot of mountain ash berries. They are sour and a bit bitter fresh and a bit poisonous, but not cooked. So I added quite a few and got a nice flavour and a nice colour. This is my first experiment of this kind, but I am already satisfied with the result.


  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    That looks amazing, @jolanta.wittib!

    I've recalled another way to use pears.

    There's an old Dutch recipe called "Hete Bliksem" or "Hot Lightening".

    You chop and cook together

    2 parts potatoes,

    1 part onions,

    1 part sour apples,

    1 part pears (or sweet apples).

    Then you drain them, keeping the liquid, and mash them, returning only as much liquid as you need.

    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Traditionally the Dutch cook this with farmer's sausage lying on top, and they serve the sausage on the side. It sounds strange but it is beyond yummy. I recall my Dutch Oma making it for me when I visited many decades ago.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @Annie Kate 😍😍😍 Wow sounds very interesting. I have collected more pears and will try this recipe out. Too interesting not to try out. Thank you!!!

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    I bought some seckel pears a few weeks ago, but they don't seem to be ripening right. I'm thinking I'm going to try the pear sauce.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    @jolanta.wittib The European Mountain Ash is tastier than the two wild varieties that grow here. My mother made some Rowan jelly and it was a good condiment with meat, but the jelly I made from local species was unpalatable. Very high in pectin so it might be better combined with something else that needs the added pectin. Like pears!

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba Seckel pears tend to stay hard. They are my favorite for drying; they are very sweet but not sticky. I was so happy to find some at a farm market today. They are going in the dehydrator tomorrow.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    @Gail H Yes, just found that out. I had them a few years ago, but I guess i had forgotten what the texture was like. I kept giving them a squeeze but they never seemed to get any softer. I brought them up from our (badly lit) basement a few minutes ago, and noticed that some had turned red, though they didn't feel any softer. All the red ones we tried were delicious. The ones that were still and green and turning wrinkly I cut up for sauce- they tasted a little overripe. The sauce is great.

  • Wendy
    Wendy Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    Do you have winter pears? These pears require cold storage before they ripen. They are usually picked green, feel slightly soft, but are not actually ripe.

    Cold storage means finding a place that is below 40F but above freezing. An extra refrigerator works well, or a drawer in your kitchen fridge. After three weeks (up to two months), they can be stored at room temp to ripen.

    I slice and freeze my extra pears to be used in winter crisps, smoothies, or boil to make a tasty pear-ginger tea.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @Annie Kate Mmm...farmer's sausage...that is the best. Your recipe sounds tasty as well.😄