If you want to enjoy the sweet, mellow flavor of pears year-round, preserve ripe pears by freezing them. To maintain the fruit's color and texture, you'll have to peel and soak them in vitamin C. Then decide whether you want to freeze them with syrup or dry. These two methods will make the pears delicious and very fresh!
Method 1 of 3: Pick and prepare the pears
Step 1. Choose ripe pears
To see if the pear is ripe, squeeze it lightly near the tip. The flesh in this area should be a little soft. If it's too hard, get another pear.
Avoid pears that are soft in the middle because they won't have firmness
Did you know?
Most pear varieties, such as d’água, eagle, short-stemmed and Portuguese, do not change color when they mature. If you choose the Williams variety, it should go from green to yellow when it ripens.
Step 2. Wash and peel the pears
Place the pears under the open vat to remove all the dirt from them. Then put them in the sink and use a rotary cutter or a vegetable peeler to peel off the fruit. You can either throw the peels away or use them to add flavor to alcoholic beverages.
If the pear is too soft to peel, it is probably too soft to freeze
Step 3. Cut pears in half and core
Take a knife and cut the pears in half lengthwise. Then use a spoon or ball cutter to remove the core and seeds. You can also take out the cable. Do this on all the pears you want to freeze.
Try not to get too much fruit from the middle of the pears when coreing
you can slice or cut the pears if you prefer.
Step 4. Soak pears in a vitamin C solution to prevent discoloration
Take a large container and place a teaspoon of crystalline ascorbic acid (vitamin C) into it. Add 4 L of cold water and stir until vitamin C dissolves. Then put the peeled pears into the container.
- Soak the pears while preparing the syrup. If you are not going to make syrup because you prefer to freeze them dry, let them soak for at least 10 minutes.
- If you cannot find crystalline ascorbic acid, crush six 500 mg vitamin C tablets.
Method 2 of 3: Freeze the pears in syrup
Step 1. Place the pears in a pan of water and sugar
You can choose the sugar content and consistency of your syrup. Place all the pears you want to freeze in a large pot and add the syrup ingredients. See a guide below:
- Light syrup: use 1 2/3 cups of granulated sugar and four cups of water.
- Medium syrup: use 2 2/3 cups of granulated sugar and four cups of water.
- Strong syrup: use four cups of granulated sugar and four cups of water.
Step 2. Boil the pears in the syrup for a minute or two
Turn on medium heat and stir the mixture gently. The sugar will dissolve as the water boils. Let the pears cook in the syrup for a minute or two.
You can remove the foam that starts to float on the surface
Step 3. Leave the pears in the syrup until they cool
Turn off the heat and place the pan with the pears inside the refrigerator. You can also put them in another container if you want them to cool faster. Refrigerate until fruit and syrup are cold.
Step 4. Fill the jars, but leave 1 to 2 cm of space between the contents and the rim
Use a spoon to spoon the chilled pears into clean, freezer-safe jars, and pour in enough syrup to cover the fruit. If the pots have a wide opening, leave 1 to 2 cm of space between the syrup and the fruit and the rim. If they have narrower openings, leave 2 to 4 cm of space.
Remember to clean the edges of the jars before closing them
use ½ to 2/3 cup for every two cups of pear.
Step 5. Label the jars and store the pears for 10 to 12 months
Use a permanent pen to note which pears are in the jars and the date of freezing.
When it's time to defrost, take a pot out of the freezer, put it in the fridge, and leave it overnight
Method 3 of 3: Freeze the pears dry
Step 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Choose a baking sheet that fits easily into your freezer. Tear off a piece of wax paper and put it on top of it. The silicone in the parchment paper will not let the pears stick to the baking sheet.
If you don't have wax paper, you can use a silicone mat
Step 2. Remove the pears from the sauce and place them on the baking sheet
If you're just freezing a few, use a slotted spoon to remove the pears from the vitamin C solution. If there's a lot of them, put a colander in the sink and pour the fruit into it. Then, just arrange the pears on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 60 mm of distance between the pieces.
If the pieces stick together when freezing, they will stick together and be difficult to separate
if you want to gently sweeten the pears, mix ½ cup sugar every 4 L of pears after draining.
Step 3. Let the pears freeze on the baking sheet until they harden
Take the pan to the freezer and take it out only after the pieces are hard and frozen. Depending on their size, this will take one to two hours.
No problem if you leave the pan in the freezer overnight
Step 4. Place the frozen pears in plastic freezer bags
You can use any size as long as the plastic bag closes well. Fill it with pear pieces and get as much air as you can before closing.
If using the pears in different recipes, divide them into separate plastic bags. For example, fill some sandwich-sized plastic bags so that you can easily measure out the fruit when making a smoothie
Step 5. Label the plastic bags and store the pears in the freezer for 10 to 12 months
Use a permanent pen to write down what's inside and the freezing date. Then just take the plastic bags to the freezer and use the pears within 12 months.
You can use the pears still frozen or leave them to thaw in the fridge
- It is possible to freeze 1 kg to 1.5 kg of pears every 4 L.
- Do not freeze the pears whole as they will go soft when they thaw.