Pear is not only sweet and delicious but also highly nutritious. It is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber.
Pear is commonly eaten fresh or cooked. Red wine poached pears is a quintessential dessert prepared with this oval-shaped fruit.
Pear comes in many varieties, with the most popular ones include D’Anjou, Nashi, Bartlett, Comice, etc. In the Northern hemisphere, pears are in season from August to October. Some varieties are harvested a little late in winter.
When your pear tree yields much more than your family can consume, you might be wondering: Can you freeze pears for later?
Definitely, yes! Freezing seasonal produce is a home preservation method to extend the shelf life. This way, there is no reason to waste your surplus harvest.
If you want to learn how to freeze pears and other related topics, we got you covered. So, keep reading!
Preparing Pears To Freeze
If you run out of ideas on how to use your pears supply or you simply want to use them later, freezing pears is an ultimate option to prolong their shelf life.
You can freeze pears in two different ways; in syrup or in sugar. No matter which method you choose, you’ll need to prep the pears properly. So, let’s get started with prepping them.
1. Select the pears
Pears are ready to pick when they are mature but not yet fully ripened. When pears are mature, they can easily detach from the branch, you just tilt the stem.
After harvesting, let them rest for a few days to finally ripen. If left to ripe on the tree, the fruit becomes brown at the core and develops a mushy, mealy texture. (*)
If you buy the pears to freeze, choose only the ripe and firm ones. Don’t pick the pear if it has blemishes, bruises, or too soft.
2. Wash and peel the pears
Wash the pears thoroughly under running water to remove the dirt and harmful bacteria. With a peeler or a knife, peel the pears.
At this point, you can do a re-check whether the pears are suitable to freeze. If they are too soft when you peel them, they are overripe. Do not freeze them.
3. Core and cut the pears
Cut the pears in half and remove the stem. With a melon baller, remove the core. Subsequently, cut the pears into slices or wedges, according to your preferences.
4. Choose the freezing method
To choose a suitable freezing method, it is better if you know how you want to use frozen pears in the future.
You can freeze pears in syrup or sugar. Syrup packed pears work the best for desserts or fruit cocktails. Sugar packed pears are suitable for pies.
In general, freezing unprocessed pears is not recommended. The juice and fibers will separate and make the thawed pears less desirable.
How To Freeze Pears In Syrup
Follow the steps below to freeze pears in syrup. (*)
1. Prepare the pears by following the steps above.
2. Prepare a 40% syrup solution by mixing 2 ¾ cups of sugar with 4 cups of water. Dissolve the sugars in lukewarm water until the mixture becomes a clear solution. (*)
3. Add ¾ teaspoon (2250 gram) of ascorbic acid to every quart of syrup. This step is optional but can prevent discoloration of the fruits.
4. Bring the syrup to boiling and add the sliced pears.
5. Heat the pears in boiling syrup for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the size.
6. Drain the pears and let them cool.
7. Pack the pears in a freezer-safe container and cover with the syrup.
8. Leave ½ to 1-inch headspace on top of the container to allow for expansion.
9. Seal the container tightly.
10. Label the container with a freezing date.
11. Transfer it to the freezer.
How To Freeze Pears In Sugar
Follow the steps below to freeze pears in sugar. (*)
1. Prepare the pears by following the steps in the previous section.
2. Place the prepared pears in a bowl or a container.
3. Dissolve ½ tablespoon of ascorbic acid with 3 tablespoons of water for every quart of pears.
4. Sprinkle the solution into the prepared pears.
5. Mix ½ cup of sugar for every quart of pears.
6. Place the sugar-coated pears in a freezer-safe container.
7. Leave ½ to 1-inch headspace on top of the container.
8. Seal the container tightly.
9. Label it with a freezing date.
10. Leave the container in the freezer.
Check your freezer once in a while and make sure to set the temperature to 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower.
How To Use Frozen Pears
You can use frozen pears in various different ways, such as:
– Make them into refreshing drinks, like smoothies, milkshakes, or fruit cocktails.
– Use for cooked recipes or baked goods, such as pies and muffins.
– Turn them into pear butter and jams.
– Use them for poached pears.
How To Defrost Frozen Pears
You can safely defrost frozen pears in the refrigerator. It takes hours to overnight to thaw, depending on the quantity.
Alternatively, you can also place the container in a bowl of cold water. Make sure the bag is tightly sealed and doesn’t leak.
If you want to use frozen pears for cooked dishes, it is possible to use them while still frozen unless otherwise stated in the recipe.
How Long Can You Freeze Pears?
Properly frozen pears keep up well up to 18 months. (*)
To enjoy the best quality, try to use frozen pears within a year after freezing.
Yes, that’s possible. You can prepare poached pears according to your recipe. Let them cool down before transferring into a freezer-safe container. Cover the pears with the syrupy wine and let them freeze. To serve, thaw an adequate amount overnight in a refrigerator and reheat in a pan.
Nashi pear is high in juice content, which makes it doesn’t freeze really well. You should freeze Nashi pears in sugar syrup.
You shouldn’t freeze unopened canned foods. Canned foods are shelf-stable and have a long shelf life. Freezing canned pears only makes sense once you open the can. Place the pears in a sealed freezer bag and put it in the freeze.
It is not recommended to freeze unripe pears since the result will be disappointing. Only a fully ripe pear is suitable for freezing.
Freezing pear is a standard method to prolong its shelf life. Since unprocessed pears do not freeze well, consider freezing pears in syrup or sugar.
Freezing affects the firm, crispy texture of fresh pears. Frozen pears are suitable to use for baked goods, cold desserts, or drinks.
Now that you know the best ways to freeze pears, no reason to let your surplus harvest go to waste.
Up next: Can You Freeze Cantaloupe?
*Image by depositphotos.com/Jim_Filim