Pears are refreshing fruit that’s juicy and sweet can be used in several sweet and savory dishes. It can be made into shakes and smoothies. But pear season is relatively short, the harvest period is from August to October. So you got only two to three months to enjoy poached pears.
But did you know that you can enjoy pears longer than their season? Freezing pears allows you to enjoy any kind of pear beyond autumn. And you’d be surprised how easy it is to freeze pears.
You can stock up on this refreshing fruit during fall. And you can enjoy frozen pears for longer. Keep on reading to find out how to freeze the pears. We’ll also toss in a few tips.
What’s a Pear
Pears are brownish yellowish edible fruits. There are around 300 pear varieties worldwide. And pears can be enjoyed fresh, sweetened, or added to savory recipes. Pears have a slightly rough texture and a soft juicy white flesh when ripe.
This fruit is high in fiber, vitamin C, copper, and potassium. It’s also high in antioxidants polyphenol. These compounds can help with digestive issues, and lower your risk of certain cancers and diabetes.
Steps in Freezing Pears
Freezing pears will only take a small chunk of your time. And it’s very easy to freeze this fruit.
1. Choose the pear
For best results, choose pears that are firm and ripe fruit. Freezing won’t improve the pear, it will just preserve them. So you have to choose firm ripe pears.
2. Prepare the pears
Before you lull the pears to cold slumber, you have to prepare them first. Wash small quantities of whole pears in cold water. Immediately remove the pears from the water, don’t let them soak.
3. Slice the pears, peel, and core them
4. And to prevent the flesh from oxidizing or turning brown, soak it in 1 quart of water combined with 3 tbsp of lemon juice. In lieu of lemon juice, you may use ½ a tbsp of salt, 1/4 tbsp of citric acid, or ¾ tsp of ascorbic acid.
5. Drain the pears well before freezing. If you’re using brine solution, make sure to rinse the pear well in cold water.
6. Pick the method of freezing
There are several ways of freezing pears. And the most suitable ones would depend on where you’re going to use the pear. We’ll dabble into these in the next section.
7. Pour the sliced pears into the containers. Seal property. Make sure to remove as much air as possible. And always leave an inch of headspace on every container.
8. Label the pears accordingly. Indicate the contents and the date it was frozen. You can also indicate how you froze the pear.
9. Make sure to leave some space in the freezer for air to circulate. So store frozen
pears in the batches.
Methods of Freezing Pears
There are several ways of freezing pear. These are the following.
Using the Syrup Pack Method
1. With the sweet syrup method, you use syrup to cover the pears. The amount of sweetener will depend on your taste preference. Normally, it’s recommended to 40 percent of syrup. Otherwise, you can refer to the following to make a syrup pack:
Very light syrup: 1 ⅔ cups of sugar plus 4 cups water
Medium syrup: 2 cups of sugar plus 4 cups of water
Heavy syrup: 4 cups water plus 3 cups sugar
2. Boil the sugar syrup solution.
3. Toss in the pear slices and boil for 2 minutes
4. Cool the pear syrup concoction before transferring it to the freezer bag or containers.
5. Ensure that the pears are dissolved in the syrup to prevent it from browning.
Using the Sugar Method
1. Sprinkle pear slices with sugar. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
2. Once the sugar dissolves, it will develop into a very light syrup.
3. Transfer the sugared pears to a container and keep them in the freezer.
How to Freeze Pears Using the Dry Pack Method
The dry pack method does not involve the use of sugar.
1. Put the pear pieces on parchment paper, cookie sheet, or wax paper. Then pack them in freezer bags.
2. Ensure to remove as much air as possible.
3. These pear slices can be used without thawing. You can pop them in pies unthawed. Just take note that it would just have longer baking times.
How to Freeze Pears using the Unsweetened Pack Method
Can you freeze pears without cooking them? You can freeze this fruit without cooking it using the unsweetened pack method. This method of freezing is suitable for jams, jellies, or candies.
1. Heat the pear slices with boiling water, grape juice, or apple juice for 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Let cool before placing in freezer containers. Make sure to leave an inch of headspace.
3. Ensure that the pear slices stay submerged in the solution. You may place parchment paper or a cookie sheet on the top of the jar to weigh the pears down.
Can you Freeze Raw Pears
It’s best to freeze pears that are ripe and firm. Raw and unripe pears won’t have that desirable flavor and juiciness. If you happen to have a bunch of raw pears, you can leave it at room temperature to include ripping.
Alternatively, you may place pears in a brown bag. This will trap the ethylene, which is natural forming gas. And this will induce ripeness. Or you can place them beside avocados and bananas, this will also ripen them fast.
What’s the Best Way to Freeze Pears
That depends on where you’re going to use this fruit.
- For pies, it’s best to use the sugar method or the dry pack method.
- For making jams, jellies, or candied fruits, it’s best to use the unsweetened method.
- For other recipes, it’s suitable to use the syrup pack method. This fruit goes well with syrup. This makes the pear’s flavor stand out.
Tips on How to Freeze Pears
- Make sure to use freezer-safe containers. Zip Top bags, plastic containers with lids, aluminum pans with a lid, glass jars and bowls with plastic lids, and vacuum sealers are all freezer-safe containers.
- The most common variety is bartlett. But you can also use any variety of pear that is available.
- You can tell a pear is ripe by applying pressure near the stem end. If it gives slightly, the fruit is ripe. Unlike other fruits, you won’t be able to tell if it’s ripe by looking at it.
- You can also use a melon baller to slice to portion the pears. And you can also use a melon baller to core the fruit. This will give an interesting shape for shakes and sangrias.
- If you have ripe pears that you won’t freeze yet. Leave them in the refrigerator at 35 to 45 degrees. This will halt the ripening process.
- If you’re using a large size, portion them into sixteenths. While medium-size pears are best portioned into twelfths.
- Poach pears are the simplest way to enjoy them.
- Don’t use overripe pears.
Are Canned Pears Okay
Canned fruits that you buy in the grocery store contain a lot of sweeteners. And there is also little information on the ingredients used in the syrup solution. While it is convenient to use bottled or canned ones brought from the grocery store, it can be loaded with a lot of sugar and additives.
Frozen Pear Recipes
Poach pears are the easiest to make out of these frozen fruits. But why stick with one recipe when you can make tons?
Here are some of our favorite frozen pear recipes.
1. Orange and pear upside-down cake
This upside-down cake is a refreshing and unique twist to the classic pineapple upside-down cake.
2. Bacon pear salad with parmesan dressing
Adding pear slices to greens and bacon can make it more refreshing.
3. Butterscotch pears
These are leveled-up poached pears. Add some sparkling wine to poached pears and it can be an epic treat or dessert.
How long do frozen pears keep?
They can last for 8-10 months. So you can use it until summer.
Do cooked pears freeze well?
Yes they do, you can use several methods of freezing for cooked pears.
Can you freeze whole pears?
Technically, it’s not ideal to freeze whole pears. Pears have a very fragile texture and shape.
Do I need to peel pears when freezing them?
Yes, you need to peel and slice the pears to keep their texture.
Is it safe to eat pears with freezer burn?
Yes, it still is, but the texture and the taste might not be that desirable.
Pear season is very short. Now you can enjoy these fruits all year round. You don’t have to buy bottled pears in grocery stores, you can freeze these fruits and have them ready whenever you want to make pies. Having frozen pears handy at home lets you create pear dishes and desserts whenever you fancy. You’ll also have some more left for summer!