Pears – a new romance

I don’t think I’ve written about the revelation pears have been this year. In past years somehow I’ve managed to eat a few good pears but more often than not they’ve been picked green and turned straight to mealy mush on the bench, or windfalls have been eaten by chickens.

Being on leave during peak pear season has been wonderful.

We had a bumper harvest from our Williams tree towards the bottom of the garden. We bottled 31 jars and ate quite a few. Each morning through late February and early March I went out with a bucket and collected up on average 3 kilos of fruit. There must have been a good 30 – 40 kilos of fruit off this one tree.

Bountiful pears

Williams pears

 

The Winter Cole is now ripening after being in the ground since Winter 2008. The fruit is more squat and just as delicious. More like a maximum 3 kilos of fruit I estimate.

Nashis! These are a completely different creature to ones you buy in a regular shop. Being able to pick when ripe makes all the difference. They are crisp, juicy and delectable. I’ve bottled one jar as I read they stay crispy to see if we like them. Mum and Dad looked after that harvest while I was away (5 kilos? def more than the Winter Cole, planted at same time). Apparently they make great juice.

I also scavenged a few kilos of pears from Jack’s family over the road. They have a large pear tree which may be from when the whole valley was an orchard at the start of the 20th Century (see here for some background info – Samuel Joseph Cato is the relevant Cato Family member mentioned) . The small brown pears are plentiful and stay firm when cooked. I used them to make pear and vanilla jam from this recipe. So I ended up tossing the lot in the blender to make for a more jam-like consistency.

Pear and Vanilla Jam

Pear and Vanilla Jam

This is a magic recipe! Next year we will make more jars. I am sure it could be used as bribery.

Pear and Vanilla Jam

Pear and Vanilla Jam

Yes that is a kitten tail leaving the photo.

 

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