When to Buy/In Season:
All year, but peak from August to September

How to Select:
Pears ripen after harvesting (off the tree), and can be purchased unripe and ripened at home. Look for well-shaped fruit which yields to soft pressure. The color depends upon variety. Avoid shriveled, discolored, or bruised fruit. Bartlett, Anjoy, and Vose pears can be used both for eating fresh and cooking; Comice, Seckel, Nelis, and Kieffer are best suited for eating fresh.

Organic Issues:
Pears grow well organically.

Pesticide Issues:
EWG 2009 Dirty Dozen, #12

How to Store:
Ripen at room temperature, with fresh air circulation (do not place in a bag), then refrigerate up to 5 days.

Pears release ethylene, which can spoil some produce. Store pears away from:
Brussels sprouts
Lettuce and other leafy greens
Sweet potatoes

To Freeze Fresh Pears:

  • Select full-flavored pears that are crisp and firm, not mealy in texture. Wash, peel and core. Slice medium pears into twelfths, large ones into sixteenths.
  • Syrup Pack: Heat pears in boiling 40 percent syrup for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on size of pieces. Drain and cool. Pack pears and cover with cold 40 percent syrup. For a better product, add 3/4 teaspoon (2250 mg) ascorbic acid to a quart of cold syrup. Leave headspace. Place a small piece of crumpled water-resistant paper on top to hold the fruit down. Seal and freeze.

  • Freeze pears for up to 8 – 12 months
  • Canning

    See our Basics of Canning Fruit at Home
    Home Canned fruits can be stored for up to 1 year; they may lose quality after that point. Commercially canned fruit can be stored up to 3 years.

    See our Basics of Drying Fruit at Home

    To dry pears, choose any variety. Allow pears to ripen at home before drying. Wash, peel and core. Cut into 1/2 inch slices, quarters, or halves. Pretreat by dipping if desired. Dry at 130 – 135F until leathery with no moisture pockets. Water content of pears is 83%.

    Dried fruit may be stored 6 – 12 months at room temperature, or indefinetly in the freezer.

    Photo Source: Auntie P

    Return to Buying and Storage Guide for Fruits

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