How should I use pears frozen w/ sugar?
February 11, 2020 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Back in the fall, a friend gave us about 10 pounds of pears from their tree, which had given them a bumper crop. Not knowing what to do with 10 pounds of pears immediately, we consulted the internet, and decided to peel, slice, sugar, and freeze them. Now we're trying to figure out what to do with them. Complicating factors is that they release a lot of juice when they thaw.

The pears are frozen in tupperware containers, with about 3 cups of pear slices to 1/3 c sugar. We have tried making pear crisp a couple of times, but the pears release a prodigious amount of liquid/syrup as they thaw, and seemingly even more as they cook. This liquid then soaks into the crisp topping, resulting in a sticky and non-crisp (if not un-tasty) mess.

So my questions are:
  1. Is there a good way to make a crisp/crumble with frozen pears, that accounts for the large amount of juice released by frozen fruit?
  2. What other desserts can we make with frozen pears? Bonus points if they can be made easily on a weeknight with household ingredients.
posted by Johnny Assay to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have some thoughts:

1. Thaw the pears, enough for a crumble, and the toss with a tablespoon or two of cornstarch. This should turn the liquid thicker whole it cooks.
2. Bake pear bread. It can accommodate the extra juice.
posted by stripesandplaid at 4:38 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]

pear cardamom jam is what I would make.
then I would put that jam inside some kind of pastry or the indentation of thumbprint cookies.
posted by bilabial at 4:53 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]

Throw them, still frozen, into a food processor and run it until they're the texture of soft serve. Then scoop into bowls and drizzle with a bit of melted chocolate or some thinned out raspberry jam.

You can probably do this with a blender too, but you might have to let some of them thaw a bit first so that you can get enough liquid for the blender to do it's thing.
posted by burntflowers at 4:54 PM on February 11 [7 favorites]

I ditto burntflowers. You might want to freeze the slush after processing it, to firm it up. Also a good shot of pear eau de vie or even dark rum would be good. I LOVE pear sorbet!
posted by tmdonahue at 5:00 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]

You could make a custard with the pear liquid and maybe blended or chopped pears. Then could do a pear custard pie with a crumble on top.
posted by inevitability at 5:58 PM on February 11

If you want to make a fruit crisp or crumble, you could always thaw them out and then boil the results down to concentrate the pear flavor and reduce the liquid.
I'd be tempted to make this pear pancake thing and use powdered milk with the liquid in place of the milk in the recipe.
You could make Fruit Cocktail and you already have your own ready made light syrup.
posted by soelo at 6:14 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]

I would have them for breakfast with oatmeal. I keep frozen apples diced up in my freezer and chuck a huge handful straight into my oatmeal (quick) with less milk than needed as the liquid makes up, and microwave them for 2.5 minutes and leave it to stand. Add greek yogurt, granola etc as topping (with brown sugar!) and gobble up.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:40 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]

Pear applesauce.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:30 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]

I would think you have a pie filling there, or simply stewed pears. If you can find a source of suet you have pear pudding (English style, basically a pie with a suet crust that you steam, though I would happily eat the steamed sponges that come up when I search for that).

The cornflour suggestion above is a good way of thickening the goop for a better pie texture.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 12:26 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

Ferment them into pear wine.
posted by koolkat at 12:46 AM on February 12

You could try broiling them on a metal or ceramic plate until they caramelize to your taste, and then put them on waffles or ice cream — or perhaps on ice cream on top of waffles.
posted by jamjam at 12:58 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]

Falling somewhat in the realm of desserts, soy milkshakes made with canned pears are pretty good, maybe you can try the same with these.
posted by watrlily at 3:02 AM on February 12

Drain them in a colander, reserving the juice to drink as juice. Put a small plate on top, and a weight on the plate. You should be able to partially bake a layer of crisp topping and top cooked pears with it.
posted by theora55 at 6:20 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

So, wait a second, you say you sugared and froze the pears based on advice you found on the internet? What did THEY say about how to use the pears later?
posted by MiraK at 8:30 AM on February 12

You can sub pear sauce in any baked good that uses applesauce, or use it as a fat/egg replacement. I made some lovely gingerbread last week with pear sauce I canned in the fall.

It's also a lovely topping for ice cream or plain cake if you boil it with a bit of cornstarch, and add some nutmeg and kitsch. Pear goes really well with chocolate as well!
posted by ananci at 11:23 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

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