Pears rank in my top 3 favorite fruits, for sure. Like with wines, I’m a sucker for the floral, high-toned aromatics. Problem is, until this year my only real source of pears was from the Okanagan. I knew there were pears around here, I just hadn’t seen or tasted any that made me think a realistic replacement to the Okanagan hook-up was in my back yard. Last year I had a spot in the lineup to pick the tree in these photos, but then headed to Normandy and missed my chance.
The pears in this photo are in Edmonton. That’s cool bit #1. Second cool bit is a mature tree yields hundreds of pounds of fruit. Not a 20lb box. Think 300lb box. Unlike an apple they’re hard at harvest and can drop to the ground and still be useful in storage. And the best bit is that there are many a pear tree tucked around Edmonton whose owners are happy to share their abundance of fruit. These ones are Ure. I’ve tried Early Gold [which I planted in my yard this year], Federovsk, and some unknown variety that’s easily as large as a Bartlett, which you might have spotted on my instagram feed, and if you know what it is please do tell.
What to do with hundreds of pounds of pears? Perry, or pear cider, for one. Secondly, it blends beautifully with apple juice. To my surprise, the pear juice we’re pressing isn’t pasty and pulpy like the commercial ones you buy – I really dislike that mouthfeel, which keeps me away from pear juices generally. We’re eating them out of hand as they ripen, will peel, cook and freeze some. May can some, although I try to avoid canning. Whatever the case, the following year will be marked by an abundance of pears.
My garage is filled with bins and tubs upon bins and tubs of ripening pears for the first time in my life. It’s glorious.