COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA.
FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN AND UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATING.
WILMON NEWELL, Director.
Bulletins will be sent free upon application to the State Home Demonstration
Department, Tallahassee, Fla.
By ISABELLE S. THURSBY
Extension Economist in Food Conservation
The delicate aroma of ripening pears is like the fragrance of a
rose-with good reason, perhaps, for the pear is really a member
of the widely distributed rose family. Of all pears, none is more
justly famous than the Bartlett, which originated in England in
1770. Its flesh is creamy white and finely grained. It is juicy,
sweet and has a highly perfumed flavor.
The delicate sweetness of the pear calls for a lighter syrup than
the peach, for instance, and any number of the delicious made-up
dishes can be enjoyed from canned pears.
On a hot summer day, a pear chilled to a turn, a ball of
pimiento cheese resting where the core once was, lettuce and mayon-
naise flavored with a bit of the syrup of the pear itself-that's one
of the many reasons for the pear's popularity.
Pears must be carefully gathered at the proper stage of ma-
turity for canning, and transported without bruising. They de-
velop a better flavor and are of finer grained texture if ripened
after gathering. Fruit ripened on the tree is apt to be coarse in
texture and often softens badly around the core. Gather pears
when full size, somewhat yellow in color, but while still hard. Hold
from 4 to 8 days to ripen in a dark but well ventilated room. Le
Conte pears are an exception to this rule and if picked when three-
fourths grown, and allowed to mellow in a darkened room, make
the most delicious canned product of any of the pears grown in
Florida. The fruit will not ripen evenly and it will be necessary
to sort daily during this ripening period in order that fruit of a
prime degree of maturity for canning may be obtained.
FLORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
The Pineapple pear and the Le Conte are much more desirable
than the Keiffer, both in color and in texture, have a relatively
small number of grit cells, and are more uniform in shape.
The grading is very important and should be carefully done in
order to obtain a uniform pack. A special guarded knife is used
by commercial canners and the peeling is done from the stem to
the blossom end and not around the pear. The core, stem, and
blossom or calyx, are removed by a loop shaped knife or core may
be removed with French potato ball cutter.
If pears are left in contact with the air for any length of time,
they oxidize and turn brown very rapidly. This difficulty can be
partially avoided by placing fruit in a dilute salt brine (2 table-
spoons salt to 1 gallon water). Brine checks the action of oxidase,
the enzyme responsible for browning.
Since the pear is low in acidity, only a medium syrup is used
for the best grade, as a heavier syrup gives too sweet a taste. This
syrup is made by boiling together one quart of sugar with two
quarts of water. Strain to remove impurities.
Peel, leave whole or cut in halves and remove core. When packed
whole, leave stems on. Cook from 5 to 10 minutes, according to size, in a
medium syrup until barely flexible. This preliminary cook is necessary in
order to make full pack. When packed whole, if pears are small, place each
layer, stems up; let the second row fill the spaces between the two stems.
For larger pears, pack the first layer with stems up, second layer with stems
down, and continue to alternate up and down, adding the hot syrup (strained)
as the layers are built up. Process quarts 16 to 20 minutes, depending on
length of pre-cook.
If pears are canned in tin, plunge immediately into cold water and cool
as quickly as possible, otherwise fruit may turn pink in color and this would
debar them from commercial markets. Better quality pears can be obtained
when canned in tin than in glass because of the quicker cooling. If addi-
tional flavor, as lemon or ginger, is desired for canned pears, add to syrup
at beginning of pre-cook. Then add a decoration of the sliced lemon or
ginger root in packing the jar.
Select medium sized pears, remove only blossom end and stem. Place
in baking pan with a small amount of water; cook covered until somewhat
tender. Remove cover; brown lightly with or without sugar, pack in jars,
and process 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with or without a caramel sauce. This
dish is delicious and wholesome.
Select firm, medium sized pears. Place in baking dish, sprinkle with
brown sugar. Add a piece of stick cinnamon or a few cloves; add enough
water to well cover bottom of pan; baste often. When tender, remove pears
to glass dish, cook down syrup and pour over pears. Serve cold, with or
without ice cream. This makes a delicious dessert.
PEAR PRODUCTS 3
COMPOTE OF PEARS
Off-sized or malforjmed pears may be sliced, steamed in their own
juices, and canned with or without a small amount of sugar for use in
making pies, cobblers and other desserts.
Use 1 lb. pears, % lb. of sugar and 1 cupful of water.
Pears may be preserved whole, or in halves or quarters. Seckel or
small Le Conte pears are often preserved whole. If Keiffer pears are used,
they should be boiled in clear water until they can be pierced with a darning-
needle (about 20 minutes). Then place in syrup and cook until the fruit has
a clear, transparent appearance. Cool, plump, pack, process, and seal the
same as for all preserves. If desired, a few whole cloves, a few slices of
lemon (two or three slices to each pound) might also be added to the syrup
in which the pears are cooking for flavor. Sometimes grated pineapple in
the proportion of one to two tablespoons to each pound of fruit is added to
the cooking syrup five to ten minutes before it reaches the finishing point.
The coarse grained, firm pears are good for making this product. The
Keiffer pear is preferable, but the Bartlett type or Le Conte, if taken under-
ripe, so as to obtain a firm texture, will give a satisfactory product. Peel,
core and cut into very thin slices. Weigh and for each four pounds of finely
chipped pears, allow three pounds of sugar, one-half cupful of water, the
juice of two lemons (or six tablespoons of lemon juice), the rind of one
lemon cut into thin strips, and one ounce of ginger root cut into small
pieces, or four pieces of green ginger root one to two inches long. Sim-
mer the pears in water with the ginger root and lemon until the fruit
is tender and clear, then add the sugar and continue cooking until It
is a light amber color and of the proper consistency. If a thermometer is
used, cook to 2200 Fahrenheit. Pack hot into jars and seal immediately.
A smoother consistency in the finished jam may be had if the raw pears are
ground through a food chopper before being weighed and cooked.
SPICED PICKLED PEARS
Use 7 lbs. of hard pears, 3 lbs. sugar, 1 pint vinegar, 1 ounce ginger
root, % lemon (rind), '/. ounce whole cloves, 1%/ ounce whole spice, and 2
ounces of stick cinnamon.
Cut pears in half, remove the seeds and pare. Make a syrup of vinegar
and sugar, tie the spices in small pieces of cheesecloth, and add them to
the syrup. When this mixture begins to simmer, add the pears and lemon
rind and bring to the boiling point; cool quickly and allow to stand over
night. The next morning drain off the syrup from the pears into a porcelain-
lined or agate kettle, bring the syrup to boiling point and pour over the pears,
and allow to stand over night again. Next day drain and heat the syrup as
before, repeating this for four or five consecutive days; then boil the syrup
down until it is just enough to cover the fruit, add the fruit to hot syrup
and boil for 30 minutes, pack fruit into the jars, garnish with snips of
cinnamon, cover with the syrup, seal and process quarts for 30 minutes at
180" Fahrenheit (simmering).
The pears may be finished in one day by boiling them in the syrup until
the fruit is clear; remove the fruit and boil the syrup down to 221" Fahren-
heit, add the fruit, reheat it, and finish as above. The fruit is less rich if
done in this way.
4 PEAR PRODUCTS
Use canned pears, cream cheese, nuts, rose-red vegetable coloring,
mayonnaise, and whipped cream.
Select firm, medium sized canned pears. Drain syrup from the pear
halves and place them cut side down on a large plate or platter. Color a
tablespoon of the pear syrup with a few drops of the red coloring. Tint
each cheek or rounded portion of the pear with a drop or two of the colored
syrup and place the pears in the refrigerator for at least six hours. This
allows the red coloring to diffuse over the pear and to give it a natural red
tint. Fit two halves of the pears together, using as a filling for the core
cavity, a mixture of cream cheese, ground nuts and enough mayonnaise to
moisten to the right consistency. Place on crisp lettuce leaves and in the
blossom end of the fruit stick a whole clove and at the stem end a green
An excellent salad dressing to use with this salad is as follows:
Thicken % cup of the syrup with 1 tbsp. corn starch. Cool. When
cold mix with an equal portion of mayonnaise and beat thoroughly. Fold in
also, an equal portion of whipped cream. If this dressing should become
thin as the cream is added, set aside in refrigerator for about one hour to
Cull fresh pears yielded a very good vinegar of 4 percent acetic acid
content. The fruit was crushed and pressed and the juice fermented with a
selected cider yeast. After the completion of the yeast fermentation, a
starter of strong cider vinegar, about 20 percent by volume, was added, and
the barrel containing the liquid left at room temperature for the completion
of the vinegar fermentation. This required about three months. Natural
fermentation of pear gave a weak vinegar of poor flavor and appearance.
The use of selected yeast, therefore, appears to be necessary. It was found
possible by fermenting the crushed, unpressed pears with selected yeast
before pressing to greatly increase the yield of juice and to facilitate the
pressing operation. A ton of cull pears will yield about 140 to 150 gallons of
NOTE: The experiments on pear vinegar were made by W. V. Cruess,
'College of Agriculture, Berkeley, California. For further directions on
vinegar making, write the Home Demonstration Dept., Tallahassee, Fla.