A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the Bartlett pear crop was fully ripe. My parents neighbors have a number of these old trees growing among the briers in fallow areas on their land and when I stopped by to borrow their press I also inquired about this beautiful (and tasty) golden fruit. I was told to “have at them,” and so I did.
Content to make use of only the sound ripe fruit which had already fallen to the ground near a few of the trees, I made off with two full grocery bags in half an hour. My aunt stopped by for a moment and when she heard of my new treasure she asked if I would grab a few for her as well. She told me that one of her favorite methods of preparing these pears was sliced thin on pizza. A recipe I tried the following day with olive oil, blue cheese and chicken for a snack while my Dad bottled beer with an old friend. My aunt was right! Sliced pear on pizza was delicious!
The majority of the fruit went into the crusher and was pressed into pure juice. I acquired 2 gallons of this which I mixed with 2 additional gallons of last year’s frozen golden delicious juice.
After pitching the yeast and topping with an air lock, my new pear-apple hard cider was on its way fermenting like a champ.
I had set aside a small group of the best fruit for a special recipe that my Mom had in mind, and wow! I am glad that I did.
My mom made us poached pears topped with diced dark chocolate and fresh whipped cream. By poaching the pears whole the skins can be removed easily. This process of cooking pears also leaves the pear with a delicate and never grainy texture. The incredible flavor relied on soaking the fruit in a delectable sauce with hints of Grand Marnier.
Keep the old ways alive!