The first thing I do is process them. I don't wait until they're soft to process them because one year I waited too long and now there is a permanent stain on our wood floor where the box sat and the pears on the bottom rotted before I got to them.
Eww. [Although that stain is kind of pretty.]
So now I just process them as soon as I get them. Peel, core and cut them up into a pot. Once they're cut up, I put in enough water just to barely cover and then I boil them. Once they're boiled, I put them in the fridge, water and all and use them in pie fillings, jams, etc. You can drain off the water and make terrific pear jelly with it.
Last year I made the most delicious jam in the world with my cooked pears. Pear Plum Vanilla Jam. The very best jam in the universe.
[I know I say that about a lot of stuff...What's your point?]
That jam is so good that this year, the girls and I wondered if we could make that into a pie filling.
So we did.
We made enough for 8 pies. Feel free to cut this recipe down for as few as you need.
Pear Plum Vanilla Pie Filling
- 12 cups plums [we used some red plums that we had frozen earlier this fall]
- 1 gallon cooked pears with the water they were cooked in
- 2 cups Perma Flo
- 2 vanilla beans, cut in half, then sliced open lengthwise
- 4 cups sugar
We put the cooked filling into quart jars and processed for canning 30 minutes.