The pears are starting to ripen; in fact a large quantity of the Beth pear, an early variety, had dropped to the ground. It is a, relatively, modern cultivar, developed by East Malling Research Station, (Williams x Buerre Superfin), and has the RHS AGM, (always a good sign for UK growers).
The pear is delicious and not wanting to miss out, we gathered up most of the fallen fruit. There is always, as with gluts, a moment when I think ‘what on earth am I going to do with this lot?’,
but once I start prepping, the produce is used up in no time. In this case, there wasn’t any point in storing the windfalls, (they were already ripe), so we sliced them up for drying. The pear chips are much sweeter than the dried apple rings, so I can’t see them being around for very long.
I also decided to make chutney with the firmer Beth pears. I’ve made Tom Kerridge’s spiced version, (here on the BBC Good Food website), on a number of occasions and it’s probably my favourite chutney. One benefit of this blog being a haphazard record of the holding is that I know that the last time I made this was much, much later in the year, (December!), using Williams pears. Whilst the Williams is also an early ripening variety, we had kept these fruit in cold storage, (the fridge), and brought the pears out a couple of days beforehand to finish ripening.
The recipe called for 10 pears and I made 4 1lb jars, and these have been added to our larder.