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zoe b

To peel or not to peel pears for pear butter

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We have an old pear tree that we don't really take care of--don't prune or treat for insects.

It sometimes has a nice crop of pears--which it does this year. The pears are small and hard--and have little brown specks on the skins--from insects or some kind of blight, I guess. But the meat is fine-- no spots at all.

They aren't bruises.

I dread having to peel them since they are so small--do you think it would be okay to just teim them, scrub them well and just cook as usual, straining the skin later, or is this a no no for whatever reason?

thanks--Z

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Pear butter is actually better if the skins and seeds are cooked with the flesh.

This type of very firm pear is also one that can be candied whole - If you dip the pear into boiling water for a minute, it makes it much easier to peel and you can remove the core from the bottom - a metal potato peeler works for the little fruits, an apple corer is too big. Leave the stem attached.

The pears have to be simmered gently in at least four new batches of simple syrup of increasing sugar content. Simmered for about 4 hours each day, then allowed to cool in the syrup then transferred to the new batch - otherwise the sugar syrup will discolor and "stain" the pears.

Start with 1:1 sugar to water then 1.5:1 then 2:1 and finally 3:1 - the latter is very thick and you can store the pears in this syrup till ready to use. Some people like to add ONE drop of red food coloring to the last batch to produce pink pears.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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cook until soft with the skin on, put through a food mill, then cook down to your butter with the seasoning.

This my method. I do the same with applesauce and apple butter.

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cook until soft with the skin on, put through a food mill, then cook down to your butter with the seasoning.

Agreed. When it comes to small fruits, the food mill is your friend. If you don't have one, buy one: You'll thank yourself.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Timely topic as I have the same issue with two pear trees and an apple that has decent flavor but horrible texture. I will be checking out food mills.

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