I recently received a windfall of hard green pears from Angela after a branch broke from her tree, thereby rushing the pear harvest. As perhaps you can tell from the photo, the pears were small, the round bottom portion about the size of a handball, and they weren’t yet ripe.
I let the pears sit on my counter for a week or two, but they never developed much fragrance, and they’re the gritty sort of pear anyway. Finally, I decided to sauce them (like applesauce), and a fine decision it was. Try this approach, and let me know what you think.
Gingered pear sauce
- 2-3 pounds pears
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 generous slices fresh ginger, peeled if you like
- 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (see note), or to taste
- Quarter and core pears. Place in heavy pan with water and ginger. Cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Put pears through food mill or cone sieve (my choice). Discard captured peel.
- Stir sugar and lemon extract into sauce. Enjoy straight or as sauce over ice cream or cake. Makes about 3 cups sauce (I think).
Please note! I wasn’t writing things down as I did this one, and enough time has passed that I’m guessing on quantities and time. BUT, this sort of thing isn’t going to be an exact science anyway. Use as much ginger, sugar and lemon as you think is compatible with the amount of pears you have. Also, the lemon flavoring definitely made the sauce tastier, but if I’d had a fresh lemon on hand, I think a tablespoon or more of lemon juice plus some grated rind would have been better.
The pears made up a good quantity of sauce, and I thought I might freeze some for later. But it was so good, it disappeared in a few days. Hence, no photo, but it wasn’t especially pretty anyway. It looked like dark applesauce. Use your imagination.