You may be wondering, can you freeze pears? Thankfully the answer is yes! There are many methods to store pears in your freezer. Perhaps your pear tree has produced a large glut of pears? Our guide shows you how to enjoy them for many months to come.
Preparing Fresh Pears for the Freezer
Pears are best frozen when perfectly ripe. To tell if your pears are ready to go into the freezer, just squeeze gently around the top of the pear. If it gives, it’s ripe and ready to go!
To prepare your fruit for the freezer. First, wash the fruit and dry it, then remove the core. It’s worth considering what dishes you’ll use the pear stash for before prepping them.
Pear skin holds lots of nutrients and antioxidants. If you’re going to use the fruit in smoothies, or puree, leaving the skin on makes sense. It’s less prep, and a healthier end product.
How to Slice Pears Before Freezing
If you love a poached pear, you can freeze them in halves. Slices will be best for pies, the pears will be tricky to cut when defrosted, because they’ll be softer than fresh fruit.
The most space efficient shape for your freezer is sliced, as they can easily be stacked to make the most of your storage space.
Top Tip – Freezing Pears Whole?
Don’t freeze your pears whole, they will turn to mush when you defrost them and lose all texture.
How Should Pears be Frozen?
There’s 3 different methods to freeze fruit and preserve it for later use. Some methods will increase the time you can leave the fruit in the freezer.
Freezing Pears In Syrup
Freezing pears in syrup extends their life in the freezer, and infuses the fruit with sweet sugar ready for a variety of culinary uses.
- To prevent fruit from browning, use a pastry brush and coat your pears with lemon juice. Finally, a use for all those leftover pancake day ingredients!
- Make some sugar syrup to freeze your pears in.
- For sweet fruit like pears a 40% sugar syrup should work well. You should use 3 1/4 cups of sugar to 7 cups of water and cook on the stove. You can adjust the ratio to your own taste.
- Add your pears to the syrup making sure you cover the fruit in the liquid and cook for a couple of minutes.
- You can then add the pears and the leftover syrup into freezer bags or containers.
- Pack pears flat in bags and use enough syrup to coat them for freezing.
- Leave expansion space in freezer containers, and pop a square of baking paper on top to keep them covered.
Best Before: Pears frozen in syrup will keep for up to 12 months.
Dry Packing Pears for the Freezer
Dry packing your pears is quick and easy, but means you’ll need to use them up a little more quickly.
- Use a baking tray or other flat surface and line with some baking paper.
- Spread out your fresh chopped up pears.
- If you want to reduce browning, brush a little lemon juice on each side of the fruit.
- Pop in the freezer and leave until fully frozen.
- You can then transfer the frozen pears into a suitable container or freezer bag.
- Pop in the freezer ready to get out and enjoy at your convenience.
Best Before: Pears frozen dry will be good for up to 3 months.
Brining Pears for the Freezer
This is a great way to get your pears ready for dry packing without resorting to lemon juice. All you need is a bowl of iced water, and some salt. You won’t taste any salt in the finished product, promise!
- Fill a bowl with iced water, and drop in enough table salt to cover the bottom.
- As you are prepping your pears for the freezer, just drop them into the bowl.
- Once you’re done, drain and rinse the pears then rinse them with fresh water.
- Line baking sheets, and freeze your pears flat.
- Once frozen, put in a freezer bag or container.
Best Before: Pears prepared like this will last around 3 months to enjoy at their best.
Can You Freeze Poached Pears?
We’ve covered freezing fresh pears but are you wondering if it’s ok to freeze cooked pears? The answer is yes, it’s perfectly fine to freeze poached pears.
There are a few simple steps to freezing those delicious poached pears so you can enjoy them later!
- Poach your pears as you normally would, making sure they stay submerged at all times.
- While poaching you can prepare your syrup for the pears to be frozen in. (You don’t have to use syrup but it extends the time it can remain in the freezer).
- Combine the poached pears with the syrup and allow them to cool.
- Once completely cool, pop into containers or freezer bags.
Best Before: Use within 3 months if you did not use the syrup method, 12 months if you did!
How Long Can You Store Pears in The Freezer?
If your pears were frozen without any syrup added then you will need to use these up within around 3 months of their frozen date. Fruit frozen with the syrup can last up to 12 months in the freezer. To thaw leave them at room temperature or in the fridge.
Freezing Pears FAQ’s
Stewing pear is a very economical way of preserving them if you have an excessive amount to use up. The good news is that stewed pears freeze very well and can then be used in your own time. Simply stew in your normal manner and freeze either with sugar or without. Stewed pears are great for desserts or for a baby who is weaning – just leave the sugar out if it’s for a baby.
Pears can be frozen without sugar but in some recipes, it will be better to include the sugary liquid. This is the case if you wish to use the pears as a snack or as part of a fruit salad otherwise you may end up with a brown mushy mess. However, if you wish to use the pears as part of a pie or with custard then without will be fine for the freezing process.
There are many health benefits to eating the skin on fruit so it’s pleasing to know pears can be frozen with their skin on. You can even include the skin in smoothies and juices – it won’t affect the end result at all. This makes the freezing process so much simpler and will save you valuable time.
Pear juice freezes well ready to use at your convenience. Be mindful of the bottles you use for freezing and remember glass won’t be suitable. The juice will expand once frozen which could cause the glass to smash. Instead, use plastic bottles and leave plenty of space for expansion in each one. Simply remove one from the freezer the night before you wish to use it and thaw in the fridge overnight.
Our guide to growing your own pear trees will give you tips and inspiration to create a pear glut in even very small gardens!