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.
Years ago in my travels as a home care occupational therapist I remember visiting a home that had two huge gnarled old trees just outside the door. They reminded me of something out of a horror movie. There were thorns on the branches that were 4 or 5 inches long (or maybe my mind has exaggerated that over the past 20 years) The branches looked almost black ((I think it may have been raining for the past few days.) The clients that I was visiting told me that although the pears were small when they were ripe they tasted similar to Bartletts. I’m inclined to think that a brave soul might have been able to prune the trees to improve the size of the fruit. I’m glad the newer varieties don’t have thorns but I do wonder from time to time what kind of pears those were.
Since you don’t know what variety of pear that is but you know where it is growing, have you considered asking the owner if you can take same cuttings and splicing onto your pear tree so that you can get that variety even not knowing what type it is? If you can do this with apples I would think you can do it with pears.
Just curious – why do you avoid canning? I do tons of it, especially all things tomatoes. :) It does increase the humidity of the house though.
I would love to hook up with a local tree myself.
Pears in Edmonton! Ahah! I win this bet – bf who is a born and raised Edmontonian swore up an down he’d never seen a pear tree in Edmonton…
I will send him this proof.
I love your site! Educational, inspiring, and so well crafted..Lead on. More will follow.
We are going to press some cider this weekend ,,,yummie
I bought a house over the winter and to my surprise one of the trees in my yard turned out to be a pear tree. It is COVERED in fruit.
Last week I was out on my deck enjoying a glass of wine and pondering what to do with all the pears… And then, Eureka!! Perry and cider!!!
Now it has turned into a full blown obsession. Hence, how I stumbled onto your site. You’ve even inspired me to ‘rescue’ fruit around Edmonton to use in my new hobby. :)
Where is this tree or place you can pick these I’m hunting on the website can’t figure out where it is