If you started growing your own pears it is important to note that pears do not ripen on the tree. You pick pears when they have fully matured and ripen them at room temperature. A mature pear should easily come off the tree when you slight twist it, if it resists, then give it more time to mature up. Below are 3 simple ways that you can easily use to ripen your pears.
Ripen pears at room temperature on your kitchen counter for 5-7 days. To fasten the process, Simply put them in a paper bag with a ripe banana at room temperature. Once ripe, pears will yield to gentle pressure.
Ways to ripen pears
Pears ripen best at room temperature as the cold tend to stunt the ripening process hence tempering with its quality.
Storing pears together is enough to get them ready in no time. This is because pears produce ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process. However, it is important to check them daily for readiness since they over-ripen quickly and before you know it they are all rotten.
When ripening pears store them close to one another but not on top of each other as that can cause bruising.
In case you plan to use the paper method, go for the brown ones as they help the fruit to breath and absorb any moisture present keeping the it fresh throughout the process.
1. Store at room temperature
Store pears at room temperature on your kitchen counter once you harvest or buy them from the store. Pears will take a maximum of 5-7 days to ripen using this method.
2. Store pears with ethylene producing fruits
Although pears release ethylene gas ripe bananas and apples release it in high quantities. Therefore, storing pears with either of these two fruits will speed up the process making them to ripen in 3-4 days.
3. Using a brown paper bag
For a more rapid process, put pears in a paper bag together with an ethylene producing fruit and leave them at room temperature. Your pears should be ready in 2 days using this method. A brown paper is recommended as it allows the fruits to breath as opposed to a plastic bag which trap in moisture and lead to spoilage.
How to know when pears are ripe
There are around 10 or so varieties of pears. Most of these varieties change color when ripening making it easy to tell when it is ready.
Some varieties don’t change their color though. However, it is simple to tell when they are ready to eat. Simply apply pressure with your thumb on its neck. If it yields to gentle pressure, then you can enjoy your sweet and juicy pear.
How to store pears
Once pears are ripe store them in the fridge to slow down the ripening process if you don’t intend to use them sooner. Make sure to store them away from apples or any other ethylene-producing fruit in the fridge. Pears will remain fresh in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
To prevent cut/sliced pears from turning brown, wrap them in a plastic bag or put them in an airtight container to prevent exposure to air and put them in the fridge.
Pro tip Refrigerate pears only when they are fully ripe to retain their flavor and juice.
If you intend to store pears for longer, freezing is ideal. However, you need to put two things into consideration before and during freezing. First you need to treat them before freezing to prevent browning. lastly, you need to protect your pears from freezer burns during the freezing process.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Rinse pears under running water
- Peel them off and cut into halves then quarters
- Remove the core
- Soak them in lemon water to prevent browning
- Spread them in a single layer on a baking tray
- Freeze for 3 hours or until completely frozen
- Transfer the frozen pears in an airtight container to prevent freezer burns
- Put the container in the freezer
Pears will retain freshness in the freezer stored this way for 8-12 months.