Pear Storage & Ripening Tips
- Unlike other fruits, pears ripen from the inside out so by the time they are soft on the outside, the inside flesh may be overripe and mealy
- Ripe pears should be stored in a refrigerator set at 35 to 45 degrees
- Leave unripe pears at room temperature in order to induce ripening
- To speed up the ripening process, place pears in a brown paper bag. This traps ethylene (a naturally occurring gas) which pears produce as they ripen.
- You can also place pears next to bananas or avocados in order to ripen them. Just like pears, both fruits naturally release ethylene as they ripen.
- Some pears (like Bartlett) change color as they ripen, but many do not
- To determine if a pear is ripe, check the neck of the pear daily. Apply gentle pressure with your thumb to the stem end of the fruit. Once it gives slightly to pressure, it is ripe and ready to enjoy.
- Enjoy pears within a few days after you achieve the desired ripeness
- Learn more about ripening pears on The Stem blog
How To Freeze Pears
Freezing helps you enjoy your favorite pear varieties all year long. Here, we’ve outlined two ways to freeze pears:
- First, wash, peel, and core each pear. Make sure the pears you use are ripe, but not overripe.
- Next, cut the pear into even, thin slices. The number of slices will vary depending on the size of the fruit.
- Brush the slices with a water-ascorbic acid mixture (1/2 tsp is plenty), or a lemon juice and water mixture. This prevents the fruit from browning.
- Then, choose your freezing method: syrup pack, dry pack, or your own method.
- Syrup Pack: Mix 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of cold water in pot and bring to a boil. Once the sugar dissolves, place pear slices in the boiling syrup for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Pack the pears into freezer safe bags. Remove excess air. Freeze. These slices will remain good for 6 or more months.
- Dry Pack: Place the pear slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze until solid. Remove and pack into freezer safe bags.
Ideas for Using Pears
- Use pears as a bowl for holding yogurt or oatmeal like this kid-friendly recipe does
- Enjoy pears alongside wine and cheese.
- Poach a pear for a simple and delicious dessert
- Turn pears into a unique bruschetta appetizer when hosting
- Create a festive and edible centerpiece by placing both Green and Red d’Anjou pears in a bowl or basket
- Feature winter pears on a fresh green salad
- Spend an afternoon canning Bartlett pears to use later in the year
- Slice fresh, ripe pears and sprinkle with cinnamon for a quick and healthy snack
- Sweeten up a classic grilled ham and cheese sandwich with pears