Monday, October 24, 2011

Winter Preparation: Pears and Tomatoes

A Box of Pears

I went to the farmers market a couple weeks ago, with the goal of loading up on winter squashes, but I became so enamored with pears, as you can tell from my new banner, that I forgot about my squashes! And then I came home with a box of pears. They've been wonderful, but of course, they all started ripening at the same time. I've been putting a couple pears in the applesauce and pies to add that sweetness, but in addition I made and canned some Poached Pears. 

Poached Pears

I got this recipe from my Mom. Of course I messed with it a bit, but only to add less sugar, and to be fair, she messed with it a bit by making it a recipe to can!

Unfortunately, I can't find the exact recipe for these pears, but there are many on the web.  You might start with this very similar looking recipe from David Lebovitz.  To can them I just made much more syrup, to make sure I had enough to cover the pears and then I canned them in a water bath.  The time for that is going to depend on your elevation. 

Also, please note, I filled these jars to full.  That is always an issue with me, just a little more, there should be about a finger width of space at the top.  But they all sealed! I intend to use them with ice cream for desserts or with greek yogurt and granola as breakfast through the winter.

Our tomatoes were able to stay outside on the plant about a month longer this year and that meant some actually ripened on the vine and they are now ripening quickly inside.  I have been storing these by slow roasting them in the oven. 

I simply slice or quarter depending on the size and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and seasoning.  This time I chose salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.  I put them in the oven at about 280 for hours or until they look like the below pan.  I freeze these in small containers and use them to add flavor to sauce, pizzas, etc throughout the winter.

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