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Requested Recipe:

COOKING PEAR WINE

My neighbor has a pear tree and I will be getting hundreds of pounds of ripe pears
in the fall. Do you have a recipes for a dry pear wine?" Bob Hignett, location unknown




Cooking Pears


The most common cooking pears in North America are relatives of the Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana). These are hard pears, such as the Bradford (Pyrus calleryana "Bradford")or Kieffer (Pyrus calleryana "Kieffer"). If you grow a pear that is more oval than the classic pear-shape of the Anjou or Bartlett, is hard as nails when green and just as hard when ripe, ripens green to brownish-breen, and may or may not have a coarse, discolored skin and gritty flesh, you have a cooking pear. It makes no difference which variety you have. They all make decent wine -- dry or sweet.

COOKING PEAR WINE (Sweet)

Wash and chop the pears into 1/2 inch pieces with peeling intact, bring to a boil in 7 pints water, then lower heat to a simmer and hold for not more than 20 minutes (or the wine may not clear later). Allow to cool to lukewarm and pour into nylon straining bag, saving all liquids. Hand mash and squeeze the pulp lightly to extract as much juice as possible without forcing pulp through the mesh. Pour the combined liquid onto the sugar in a primary, stirring well to dissolve. Add the lemon and orange juice, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. When cooled to 75 degrees F., add an activated wine yeast starter and cover primary. Transfer to secondary after vigorous fermentation subsides (5-7 days), top up with water and attach an airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 3 weeks and then every 2 months for 6 months. If clear, taste wine for sweetness, not flavor (flavor will be coarse, but will improve remarkably with aging). If not as sweet as desired, stabilize with 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate and 1 crushed and dissolved Campden tablet, sweeten to taste, wait 10 days to ensure no refermentation occurs, and bottle. If wine does not clarify on its own, fine with Bentonite according to its instructions, rack again when clear (7-10 days), and bottle. Taste it after 6 months, but allow a year for best body and flavor. This wine may be spiced during cooking with two 3-inch cinnamon sticks and a few cloves (to your taste) in a spice bag. These are removed before extracting the juices from the pears. The spiced wine is a very nice treat during the Christmas holidays the following year. [Author's own recipe]

COOKING PEAR WINE (Dry)

Wash and chop the pears into 1/2 inch pieces with peeling intact, bring to a boil in 7 pints water, then lower heat to a simmer and hold for not more than 20 minutes (or the wine may not clear later). Allow to cool to lukewarm and pour into nylon straining bag, saving all liquids. Hand mash and squeeze the pulp lightly to extract as much juice as possible without forcing pulp through the mesh. Pour the combined liquid onto the sugar in a primary, stirring well to dissolve. Add the lemon and orange juice, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. When cooled to 75 degrees F., add an activated wine yeast starter and cover primary. Transfer to secondary after vigorous fermentation subsides (5-7 days), top up with water and attach an airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 3 weeks and then every 2 months for 6 months. Bottle if clear. If wine does not clarify on its own, fine with Bentonite according to its instructions, rack again when clear (7-10 days), and bottle. Taste it after 6 months, but allow a year for best body and flavor. This wine may be spiced during cooking with two 3-inch cinnamon sticks and a few cloves (to your taste) in a spice bag. These are removed before extracting the juices from the pears. The spiced wine is a very nice treat during the Christmas holidays the following year. [Author's own recipe]



My thanks to Bob Hignett, location unknown, for this request.


This page was updated June 2nd, 2003

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