USING THIS PLANT
- Fresh eating – Asian Pears are more similar to an Apple in texture and a cross between an Apple and European Pear in flavor. Eat when fully ripe or it will be dry and hard. Great in salads.
- Cooking – Asian Pears have a high water content, so they are not used identical to European Pears. They are great when used for marinating (see trivia below). Drier varieties may be used for cooking, baking, pies, tarts, etc., but they really are best cooked after they have been pureed. The crisp texture is not softened with cooking as with European Pears.
- Sauces – In Asia, the pears are often ground and mixed into sauces instead of other sweeteners
- Preserved – Preserves, Jams, Jellies, etc – will often need longer cooking times to reduce the high water content. Asian Pears dehydrate very well, and the dehydrated fruit can be used in many recipes for desserts or just eaten as is.
- General insect (especially bees) nectar and pollen plant
- Wildlife food
- Wildlife shelter
- Primary or adjunt flavor component in beer, wine, cider, perry, mead, liquor, etc.
- Can likely be Coppiced, although I can find no good reference for this.
- Wood – Poles, posts, stakes, tools, crafts
- Wood – Firewood, charcoal
- Wood – Smoking/Barbeque: pear wood gives a soft “fruity” smoke to meats, similar to apple wood
Yield: Standard root stock – 3-8 bushels (105-280 liters) or 170-450 lbs (80-200 kg); semi-dwarf root stock – 1-2 bushels (35-70 liters); dwarf root stock – 1 bushel (35 liters) or 56 lbs (25 kg)
Harvesting: Late Summer to Autumn (August-October), but can vary based on variety and location. Pick when still crunchy (like an apple) and giving off a strong aroma – the strong and sweet fragrance of a ripe Asian Pear is the key to knowing when it is ripe. Softness is used to help determine ripeness in European Pears, but not Asian Pears.
Storage: Best when used right away, but can be stored for up to a month or more if kept in a cool, dry place and handled carefully to prevent bruising