Prized highly for its exotic apple-like appearance and pear-like taste, the Asian Pear is a highly nutritious fruit that has delivered time-honored health benefits to people not just in Asia but also throughout the world. Also known as the apple pear, the Asian pear is customarily given as a pricey and precious gift throughout Asia. Because it is such a luxurious fruit, it is good enough to eat on its own immediately after picking.
Availability: Late August - Late September
Asian Pears, like apples and peaches, should be left to ripen on the tree for best flavor. Once picked, they will keep very well in cold storage. A good-quality Asian Pear is selected by smell rather than variations in firmness. Unlike other pears, Asian Pears are ripe even when they are extremely firm.
Place two or more Asian Pears in a small paper bag and roll the top of the bag down tightly. Place the bag in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard or clear corner of your counter space. Allow the fruits to ripen in the bag for approximately three days. The flesh of the fruit, once ripened, feels slightly firm but gives way with pressure. The skin of the ripened Asian Pear should be deep yellowish-orange with brown flecks.
Asian Pears can be stored for up to one week at room temperature. Place them directly on your kitchen counter-top or store them in a bowl. You can store them for up to three months in your refrigerator or other similarly cold place. Place on the refrigerator shelf or in the fruit drawer in a way that will prevent crushing or bruising.
We don't recommend freezing fresh Asian Pears that have not been processed. The juice and fibers will separate in the thawing process, and the results are not at all desired. However, freezing a cooked or processed pear (such as pear sauce) to which sugar has been added will work. Pear pie fillings can also be pre-baked and frozen. Make sure the pears are in a tightly sealed container prior to freezing to help reduce freezer burn and the growth of microorganisms.
Wash and peel pears. Cut in halves and remove cores. Slice, if desired. To prevent discoloration, keep pears in an ascorbic acid solution (a solution of 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) ascorbic acid to 1 gallon of cold water). Prepare a very light, light, or medium syrup or pack pears in apple juice, white grape juice, or water.
• 2 Asian pears
• 1 banana, sliced
• 1 Bartlett pear
• 2 red or golden delicious apple
• 1 cup raisins
• 1⁄2 cup red grapes, halved
• 1⁄2 cup almond slivers
• 1 cup vanilla yogurt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1⁄4 teaspoon ginger
• 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
Peel and cube apple and pears. Slice bananas and cut grapes in half. Combine fruit and almonds in bowl. Mix yogurt, spices and cider. Mix dressing evenly in salad. Cover and chill before serving.