We bought this farm with an orchard full of mature fruit trees and so far figuring out what exactly is growing out there has been a challenge. We know we have peaches and plums and apricots, but they didn’t produce this year. We have apples, but the wind chased all the bees away during the pollination window. However, we have pears. Lots of pears.
A little research (thank you internet) has led me to believe that we have two varieties of pear trees – Bartlett and Seckel pears. Bartlett pears are what you’re probably used to. They ripen at room temperature to a soft golden yellow and are the sweetest and most flavorful of common pear varieties. Our Bartlett pear trees have been all but picked clean and the last, highest pears are super ripe in the sunshine.
I’ve picked a few Seckel pears over the last month and waited for them to turn ripe on the counter. Nothing. Hard as a rock. Never delicious. Someone suggested that maybe they were Seckels and it made me look online. Apparently we’ve got them. Firm, crisp, subtle. Sweet, but not as sweet as Bartletts. They will ripen further if you put them in a plastic bag with a banana at room temperature. They’ll keep in the fridge for a few days. They often have a reddish blush and may be soft near the stem end when fully ripe.
I haven’t tried it yet, but this recipe sounds absolutely incredible: ‘Vanilla Poached Seckel Pears with Honey & Warm Spices.’
So try them out. Tell me what you think of them and how you coaxed their sweetness out and what you did with them. They’ll be available for a few more weeks in baskets and probably at the farmers’ market.