Freezing pears is a delicious and convenient way to keep them fresh. It’s also pretty simple to do. Pears, like most other fruit, tastes best when eaten ripe and fresh. There are many different varieties of pears that you can buy at the grocery store, and depending on the type and your personal preferences, one might be juicier and sweeter than the next. But often, pears don’t ripen at a pace we like. And this is where learning how to freeze pears comes in handy because you’ll be able to have the pears frozen and ready to be used.
Frozen pears are not only convenient, but they can save you a lot of money. When pears are in season, they’re usually one of the cheaper fruits that you can buy. But if you freeze them, you can enjoy them later on when they may be a bit more expensive in the market. There are a few different ways that you can freeze pears. You can freeze them whole, sliced, or cubed. You can either freeze them dry-packed or in sugar syrup. Once you learn each technique, it’s easy to incorporate it into your routine.
Before diving into the freezing techniques, there are some pre-requisites that you need to be aware of, and the very first is how to buy pears. Here are a few quick tips that will help you make a great selection:
You will need some bottled lemon juice for treating your pears before you freeze them. Once peeled, the pears react with the air around them and start to brown very quickly. To slow down this process, treat your peeled pears to a lemon juice solution. To prepare the solution, add three tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to a quart of cold water. We stress on the lemon juice to be bottled because it has a stable pH level that is safe for consumption.
Depending on how you plan to freeze your pears, you will need freezer bags or freezer jars. Always make sure you use freezer-safe containers for freezing that can withstand the cold temperatures. If you plan to use the dry-pack method, you can go for freezer bags, while the sugar syrup method requires you to use freezer jars.
For freezing pears, the recommended sugar syrup concentrate to use is 40 percent or medium syrup. But you can vary the percentage of sugar in your syrup as per your preference. For a medium syrup, combine 2⅔ cups of sugar with 4 cups of water over gentle heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar.
You can freeze pears as halves or cubes or roughly chopped as well. It all depends on how you plan on using them in the future.
Start by washing the pears in plenty of plain water. Use a vegetable scrubber to get rid of any stubborn dirt.
You can use a swivel or a Y peeler to peel your pears. Pears that are just the right amount of ripe are very simple to peel. If you find the pears mushy when peeling them, they are possibly too mature to freeze.
Once peeled, cut the pears in half along their length and use a melon baller or a small spoon to core out the seeds. Next, you can cut the pears into the form you want to freeze them in by either leaving them as halves or then slicing or chopping them into cubes.
When your pears are ready in the form that you want to freeze them, add them to the lemon and water solution and let them soak for 3 – 5 minutes. You can then remove and dry them using some paper towels.
Blanching the pears is not necessary when freezing them. Blanching is usually done to make peeling the vegetable or fruit easier. However, pears as a fruit can be easily peeled even without blanching. If you are freezing pears in some kind of fruit juice, then you can blanch the pears in the liquid for 2 – 3 minutes to allow them to absorb the fruit flavor before freezing them.
Frozen pears make an excellent addition to smoothies. You can freeze pears using the dry pack method described above to use them in smoothies. When you are ready to use them, simply remove them from the freezer and add them to the blender while still frozen. Add the other ingredients to your smoothie and blend until you get the consistency you desire. If you want a bit of extra sweetness, you can also use pears frozen in sugar syrup in the smoothies.
To use the pears frozen in sugar syrup, simply move the jar from the freezer to the fridge overnight to let them thaw. Once thawed, you are ready to use the pears in your recipes. In the case of the dry pack method, thawing the pears is not necessary, and you can use the pears while still frozen. However, if you wish to thaw them, shift them to the fridge for a few hours.
Home frozen pears serve as a delicious treat in the off-season when they are usually much more expensive in the market. They have various applications ranging from drinks to desserts and are very simple to freeze at home. So give these freezing techniques a try, and you won’t be disappointed!
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