Cooking Wild Pears

Canning pear tree breaking down with fruit

Canning pear tree breaking down with fruit

In every state south of Virginia, almost every farm had at least one pear tree planted in its yard. The particular pear that I am speaking of here is a canning pear that when ripe remained hard enough to resist boiling and making pear preserves without cooking to pieces. Now, in mid-August in Georgia, is when the fruit is starting to mature and drop from the trees. The fruit on the trees will continue to grow until frost, although it gets “pithy or punky” later in the season.

Canning pears may be simply made into poached pears by cooking themCanning Pear Tree heavy with pears

Poached pears and pear sauce can be easily cooked. These pears may also be used in pear relish and preserves.

Poached pears and pear sauce can be easily cooked. These pears may also be used in pear relish and preserves.

 in an oven in water at a temperature of about 350 degrees until they soften and start to brown. Pear sauce can be made by boiling the pears and then canning them in jars. Pear bread and pear pie are also possibilities.

When selecting the pears there may be some brown spots that can be cut away and the remainder of the pear will be fine to use. These pears may be occasionally bird pecked, but are usually bug free, unlike softer fruits. Deer, squirrels and rabbits actively feed on these, so if you want them you had best be after them before the critters get them.

If you see such a tree, ask if you can have a 5-gallon bucket of pears. Most people will have already harvested as many as they wish to use, and will be glad to give you some.  This is free, high-quality, fruit for the asking.

For additional cooking instructions and pecipes consult the recipe section of my book Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound.

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