when-do-pears-ripen

When Do Pears Ripen?

Pears are known for having a short peak at which they're truly ripe. This can be frustrating for cooks and gardeners who don't know how to ripen them. Pears are one of the few fruits in which the flavor and texture benefit from being picked green. There are signs that the tree gives when pears are ready to pick.

Season

The exact timing of pear picking season depends on the climate and the variety of pear grown. Typically they reach the picking stage from late summer through early winter.

  • Bartlett – A late summer pear ready to pick in August. This fruit is extraordinarily juicy and very sweet. Popular canning pear, skin brightens as it ripens.
  • Aurora – Ripens just before Bartlett. Aurora is an attractive yellow pear with smooth melty flesh. It is sweet and good for winter storage.
  • Harrow Delight – Harvest this early pear in July. Like Bartlett in flavor and texture; it has green skin with a red blush. Blight resistant.
  • Bosc – Harvest Boscs in autumn beginning in September. Crisp and slightly grainy these fruits are perfect for cooking. They give off a strong floral scent when ripe.
  • Anjou – Red and green varieties are ready to pick in September and October. These are good eating pears. They are juicy yet crisp, smooth and mildly sweet.

When To Pick?

Pears left to ripen on the tree will ripen from the inside out. By the time the outer layers are ripe and detectable the inside will be past its peak and mushy. Pick pears when they are still green to avoid this problem.

Take a fruit in your hand that is hanging vertically and turn it to the side. Turn it until the fruit is horizontal and the stem has been slightly stressed. A mature pear that is ready to pick will easily pull from the tree this way. Bosc pears are an exception to this rule. They tend to hold fast to the branches even when ready for harvest.

How To Ripen Pears?

Place the fruits on the kitchen counter or in a cupboard to ripen. It will take between four and seven days depending on the variety and stage at which it was picked. Anjou pears tend to take the longest, and Bartlett pears ripen the fastest.

Ripen pears faster by putting them in a paper bag. On the counter, they take seven days. A paper bag will ripen them in three to four days. To ripen them even faster put a banana or apple into the bag with them. These fruits release a gas which speeds ripening.