Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Pressure of Bounty

This is my fourth summer of unrelenting pear harvest.
The first year was so daunting, I forced about 30 friends to come over for a party. The rule was, no one could leave without a sack of pears.
We are taking it a little more casually now. Cranky likes to deliver little loads of the perfect fruit to his friends when he's out on coffee patrol. If the pears get too ripe, we cavalierly dump them into the green can. (I have NOT convinced myself to throw them on the compost heap. Rats? Raccoons? Eep.)
Still, we have a lot of pears. And I'm not even talking about the plum tree. Yes, I am. Daunting. Making some sort of plum sludge in a hot pot today; really, better than it sounds.
Fortunately, the harvest of both trees is nearly finished. A few more breakfasts of sliced cold pears, and I'll probably be looking forward to next year.
That plum sludge? Not so sure.


Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I had the same issue in 2008. I made way too many jars of plum preserves and plum chutney and pear apple preserves (great on french toast) and decided apple & pear pie with whole wheat olive oil crust was a new favorite.

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: I think preserving is great, but overload is so unfun.
Apple pear pie whole wheat olive oil crust. I just drooled.

Veggie Gnome said...

Pear Wine! Plum Wine!

Very easy to make, very delectable, and you can use up quite a few pears and plums. :)

Kalyn said...

Oh I wish I lived by you. I'm not big on fruit in general, but I love pears!

kudzu said...

Was thinking of you when my grandson (13) mentioned "pear pressure" in one of his rapidly typed messages on Facebook. He corrected it in a second comment, but I thought "Debby would love this, knowing exactly what it means!"

Have you ever had pear sorbetto?

Ms Brown Mouse said...

This year is the year to make pear wine, don't you think?

Zoomie said...

There's always donation to a grateful food bank. They don't get much fresh fruit.

cookiecrumb said...

Veggie: Sounds wondrous! I have made pear vinegar in years past; that's about my speed. :)

Kalyn: I was only lukewarm on pears before we inherited this tree. Now I want to bathe in them.

Kudzu: Damn! Wish I'd thought of that.
My friend Sam made a pear sorbetto from my own tree; it was mild and dreamy, just like you'd want.

Mouse: I have only succeeded in getting cloudy "nectar" from the pears, not clear liquid. It's very nice on its own!

Zoomie: If you only knew how many boxes of fruit we have donated to the food bank in Marin! Pears are just a bit iffy, though, because some have insects.

Greg said...

That pear is picture perfect...maybe picture pearfect. Pear wine a great idea.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: The votes are in. Pear wine! Toga party at my house.

Ellen Zachos said...

Check out the pear wine recipe in Making Wild Wines & Meads (Vargas & Gulling). I make it every fall and it's delish.

cookiecrumb said...

Ellen: Wow! Thanks for the scale-tipping vote. I'll check it out. What a nice idea.

Veggie Gnome said...

"Making Wild Wines & Meads"
Yes! That's a great book with great recipes.

We have 2 batches of pear wine from that book fermenting as I type. :)

cookiecrumb said...

Veggie: I'm in a full Nelson here. I will SO look it up. Thanks!!

namastenancy said...

Pears in Sweet Tea Syrup
10 Bartlett pears
5 cups water
2 cups sugar
3 Tazo Vanilla Rooibos tea bags
Prep 3 quart jars. Peel, core and halve the pears. If you'd like, float them in water mixed with Fruit Fresh or lemon juice, to help retain their color. Pack them into the jars. Meanwhile, bring the sugar, tea bags and water to a rolling boil. Do not let it reduce. Pour the hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Run a knife or a jar scraper to dislodge any bubbles while turning the jar slightly. Seal. Process in a hot water bath for 25 minutes.

Note: This recipe yields a bit more syrup than you will probably need. I scaled it this way because while my 10 pears fit into 3 quart jars, you might have some leftover. There should be enough syrup leftover to can a pint of extra pears if need be.

Tip: I highly recommend the Blue Book Guide to Preserving for learning how to can.

From the blog Coconut and Lime

Lannae said...

I would like to have part of your fruit problem. Mmmm Fresh Fruit!