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Old 08/05/09, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 88
Grainy pears

I have a pear tree in my yard that has yielded a ton of pears. The unfortunate part is that the pears don't ever get soft and ripe. Even the pears I pick up off the ground are still quite hard. This makes them kind of not that appealing to eat. The other thing is that they are very grainy or granular in texture so it feels like you've got some sand in your mouth when you eat them. I thought maybe cooking them would help and that does soften them, but they are still very grainy. Right now I am using them as animal treats since they are like chocolate to the horses and goats.

Is there something that I can do for the tree to increase the palatability of the pears? I just bought my house almost two years ago and haven't done anything to the tree since that time. The pears last summer had the same problem.

location- south/central Arkansas
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Old 08/05/09, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,341
Sounds like Keifer pears. I like to can them as they hold their shape/texture well. That said, they must be an acquired taste as many people don't care for them. I also peel & bake them with butter, nutmeg & a little mace for a side dish.
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Old 08/05/09, 05:58 PM
aka avdpas77
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: central Missouri
Posts: 3,432
Most of the old original pears are like this. They have what are called sclereids or stone cells in the fruit that give it a "gritty" feeling. There is nothing you can do to improve the fresh fruit, it is normal. Being hard is another normal quality. If you cook them, or make preserves, they loose some of that consitancy.
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Old 08/05/09, 06:59 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
Just this afternoon I received a horticulture newsletter telling about the harvest of pears.

Here is a link.
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Old 08/06/09, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 291
Most pears will not ripen on the tree. Asian pears are the exception. If you are not growing Asian pears, pick them when they change color and let them ripen in a cellar.
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Old 08/06/09, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 88
Thanks for all of your input. I am going to try the suggestions in the article if it's not too late for my pears this year already. Although storage at 60-65 degrees for ripening will be difficult (I don't even keep the a/c that low).
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Old 08/06/09, 12:47 PM
Danaus29's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19,562
Do you have a basement or root cellar? That would be cool enough.

The grittiness is why I hate pears. They all seem that way to me.
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Old 08/06/09, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,807
Our Bartlett pears don't have that grainy texture, which was a pleasant surprise for me.

I wonder what would happen if you cooked the pears down and put them through a food mill. You could can the pear puree, or perhaps make fruit leather with it.

I've noticed that the grains in the keifer pears tend to be more toward the core. Could you cut away the part that isn't grainy, and then process it? We dehydrated our Asian pears last year -- heavenly bliss!

Good luck with your harvest!
Je ne suis pas Alice
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Old 08/06/09, 08:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Vermont
Posts: 409
My pear tree had about 75 pounds of fruit last year. The fruit was not fully ripe when it dropped or was picked from the tree. We placed them in cardboard boxes in the basement to keep. As we wanted pears, we brought out some to ripen on the counter. I also brought out 1 box to ripen and canned them just before they were ripe. This way they dont turn into mush in the canner.
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Old 08/06/09, 10:39 PM
tnokie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Live in Tennessee but born and raised and forever an Okie!
Posts: 1,478
Those hard pears are the only kind I grew up with! Peel ,core and slice,cook down with sugar,till nice and sweet and sryupy,then cold pack! Wow those are some great pear preserves They will be dark brown colored but its very pretty. Yes even then they will be a bit grainy,but you won't mind when put on toast or just to make a sandwich out of. Can you tell I like this stuff!Lol
"Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village tho...."
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Old 08/07/09, 08:48 AM
Callieslamb's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 16,464
Pear butter! Cook the pears down - add nutmeg, cinnamon - maybe some orange juice. The best! I like it much better than apple butter.
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