Pear liqueurs and other alcoholic drinks
The pear tree belongs to the Rosaceae family. There are about 20 different species and 5000 sub-species of pear trees. The majority of European and American varieties derive from the common pear and winter nelis pear.
Cultivation of pears in Europe started in the Neolithic age and became quite popular in the Mediterranean area over 1000 years before Christ. Contemporary pear trees bear oblong-shaped fruit with the exception being the bergamot pear that bears round fruit. Pears are used to make jams, jellies, compotes etc. In France, the fruit is used in production of the famous alcohol „poire”.
Pears have relatively high sugar content. They are a source of vitamin C and contain traces of vitamins A and B. The minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron and trace amounts of sodium can be found in pears.
Only the finest, succulent fruit should be used for the liqueur. After washing and drying the pears, remove their cores and seeds. Do not peel. Cut into squares. (Make sure you are using a stainless steel knife.) Place pears in a demijohn or a large suitable bottle up to three-fourths of its volume. Fill the whole container with 80 % spirit. Close tightly. Store in a room temperature for about six to eight weeks.
Separate the liquid from the fruit. Put the liquid into another bottle and close tightly. Add sugar to the fruit in the demijohn. For every kilogram (2.5 lb.) of pears add 300-350 grams (2/3-3/4 lb) of sugar. Shake the container every day. When sugar dissolves completely, drain the fruit through linen. The remains of the fruit can either be eaten or disposed of. The syrup should be mixed with the liquid you already have in the bottle. Leave it for 2-3 days, occasionally shaking the container. Then filter the liquid through gauze and put in bottles. Store in a cool, dark place. Make sure that the bottles are securely closed.
Pears in alcohol
They can be used as a separate dessert dish or to decorate tortes, puddings and mousses. Sometimes they serve as a side dish with meat. The fruit used for preservation should be small, succulent, and not ripe, otherwise the alcohol might make them too dry.
Put pears in boiled water and continue boiling until the fruit becomes softer. It will be easy to peel them now. Put pears in cold water and add the juice from one lemon
Prepare syrup using a half-liter of water, 1 kilogram of prepared fruit and 300 grams of sugar. Bring everything to a boil and let it cool. A day later, separate the syrup from the fruit. Bring the syrup to a boil, add the fruit and boil everything again. Repeat the procedure a day later. The fruit should be very soft by now.
When the pears cool off, put them in jars. Mix the syrup with spirit. The mixture should contain 33 % of alcohol. Pour the liquid over the pears. Close the jars tightly. Store for 6-8 weeks.
The syrup can be treated as a weak alcoholic beverage. The pears should be covered in sugar when served. Enjoy!!!