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Asian pears

October 27, 2009

Asian pears are sometimes called “apple-pears” because of their similarity in shape and color with that fair fruit. I noticed the other day that our local large chain box store was selling Asian pears in the produce section for $1.59 apiece! Here at Legg Creek Farm we are pleased to offer several varieties of Asian pears.  With the crispness and texture of a fresh apple, and the taste of a pear, the Asian pear is an interesting and delicious fruit to grow for the home garden.  Asian pears are best when they ripen on the tree, and they store longer than most fresh-picked fruit.

Cultivation

Asian pears need to be planted on well-drained, rich soil in full sun.  They are not extremely cold tolerant.  Our Asian pears are grafted on Prunus calleryana rootstock, which has a cold tolerance to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  Trees are pruned like an apple tree, in a vase shape.  Because Asian pears are heavy bearers, it is recommended that fruit be thinned to ensure annual fruit set and to prevent limb breakage.  All Asian pear varieties are susceptible to fire blight.  An antibacterial or copper spray during blooming helps prevent this disease.   Fruit are harvested when the sugar content is the highest, usually when “the color is right,” which varies by variety.  When harvested, Asian pears will store for up to 60 days in the refrigerator, and up to 3 weeks at room temperature.

It’s a good idea to have at least two Asian pear varieties planted to ensure adequate fruit set.  For fertilization, use  nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-0-0 or ammonium sulfate if the soil is highly alkaline (the pH is above 7.5),   Use one pound per inch of trunk diameter. Do not over fertilize as over-vigorous shoots are susceptible to fireblight. If your soil pH is below 7.5, then use a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer, such as 15-5-10. As before, use one pound per inch of trunk diameter.

Resources

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/fruit/asianpear.html  – Texas

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/sites/default/files/documents/sp_50-694_preserving_asian_pears2009.pdf – Oregon

http://www.aces.edu/dept/peaches/pearasiancult.html – Alabama

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/v1-304.html

Asian Pear Recipes

Asian Pear Cake

Ingredients:

  • Fruit Mixture:
  • 3 cups diced Asian pears
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • .
  • Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 large eggs

Preparation:

Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or spray generously with Baker’s Joy or other similar baking spray mixture with flour. Heat oven to 325°.

Combine diced pears, pecans, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar; toss. Cover and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and soda; mix to blend thoroughly. With electric mixture on low, stir in oil, vanilla, and eggs until well blended. Stir in the fruit and nut mixture until blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate and glaze with a vanilla or caramel glaze or dust with powdered sugar.

Asian Pear Grilled Cheese

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 (1/2-inch-thick, 7-1/2- by 3-1/2-inch-long) slices light rye bread
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced young Gouda cheese (aged 1 to 6 months)
  • 5 (1/8-inch-thick) slices Asian pear
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, spread 1/2 of the butter on 1 side of each slice of bread.
  2. Once the pan is warm, add 1 slice of bread buttered side down, then top with 1/2 of the cheese, all of the pear slices, and finally the remaining cheese. Close with the second slice of bread, buttered side up.
  3. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, about 6 minutes per side

Another Asian Pear Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 Asian pears
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger


Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Slice the pears. What you’re looking for are simple slices, just as you would slice an apple. However, pears have a smaller core than apples so you’re likely to get more yield from the fruit. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the eggs until they’ve lost their orange color and have become a bit paler, about 1 min.
  4. Add to the mix the juice of two oranges and the zest from one and whisk lightly.
  5. Now add the flour, spice mix, baking powder, sugar, vanilla and salt and mix completely.
  6. Once those ingredients are incorporated, slowly add the oil as you mix the batter. The result will be rather thick, sticky, and perfect for what is next.
  7. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. How? Grease the pan, then add about a tablespoon of flour to the pan’s base, then move and shake the pan until the flour has made a nice thin coat that covers the pan’s entire interior. Do this over the sink to save your self the mess. Dump out any excess flour.
  8. Now begin to layer your cake. Take about a third of the batter mixture and lay down a nice coating on the bottom of the pan. This will actually be your top, so you want to make sure you’ve made a thick layer all the way around the base of the pan.
  9. Lay pear slices on top of your batter layer. Add another layer of batter and another layer of pear slices. You should get between 2-3 layers of pears. The final layer should be batter.
  10. Place your pan in the oven and bake for approximately 90 min. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick in the middle and remove it. It should come out clean when the cake is done.
  11. Remove finished cake from the oven and leave it in its pan for at least 30 min. on a rack or other tray. Once sufficiently cool, you can turn it out onto a plate or simply leave it in its pan and cut slices from it. In either case, be sure to work slowly. The cake has a dense construction and those apples don’t help, so it will be more delicate then a Bundt cake or the like.
  12. Sprinkle slices with confectioners sugar and enjoy!
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Wet fall!

October 22, 2009

We’ll the early to mid October heat has given way to cool weather and RAIN!  I feel like we are in Seattle or something…We have had primarily rain for the last 10 days, with an occasional glimpse at the sun.  This is really a pretty good deal for the trees – they should be robust and have quality roots when we lift them the week after Thanksgiving!

The main reason for writing this is let the reader know that we will now be profiling some of the more unique trees we sell, with info on how to grow the trees, and their uses.  We’ll be posting regularly until we start shipping, and then we may be down a week or two before we start back.  Hope you find it helpful!

http://www.leggcreekfarm.com

October heat

October 15, 2009

Greetings to everyone!  I hope everyone is doing well.

We are looking forward to having a great selection of fruit trees this year.  I thought we would be having an early winter, but we are now having temperatures in the mid 80’s, with high humidity.  It has been a really wet Fall thus far, and I am betting that it gets cooler here before long.  Once we have the trees dormant and the weather is cold, we will be digging and shipping!

Take Care!

http://www.leggcreekfarm.com

Hello world!

October 15, 2009

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