Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pears

I bottled these last night.....


....absolutely succulent Clapps Pears.  I chose this variety because they are large and recommended for either out of hand or bottling.  It was my first time working with pears. I'm glad I did a little reading up on them.  I didn't know that North American varieties don't ripen successfully on the tree, you pick them hard when the stem easily snaps off of the tree when tilted, then you cool the fruit and allow to ripen.  I set these aside for 4 days after purchase (they were very hard that day), and last night after reading about how they should feel when ripe, I checked them and they were perfect for eating.  Looking back, I would have bottled them 1 day sooner just so that they were a little firmer.  I also didn't know that the granular bits of the flesh are caused by "stone cells" and the stone cells are more, well, stony, when the fruit isn't ripened properly.  So the ones I ripened (the right way) were tender and fine and I found it very difficult to stop eating them as I was peeling and slicing.

It would appear that I used about 1 lb of fruit for each 500 ml jar.  10 lbs of pears, 10 jars.  Some jars I packed a little too well, others could have used more and unfortunately one of the jars didn't seal properly so Mr. and I will have to eat them...darn.  I meant to use an extra light syrup to allow the flavour to stand out and of course use less sugar but I had a little fatigue induced brain flatulence and ended up making "light".  I think I'll use honey instead of sugar next time to keep it all less processed.  But, even though I did use sugar and sugar isn't good for us, at least I didn't use high glucose corn syrup which I believe is poison.  This is the ingredients list of a common brand here in Canada:


...even with sugar, mine is still better for you, the fruit was local and in season and a bonus...they are actually cheaper than store bought.

And the end result....



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