A Pair of Pear Trees

In the mid 1930s, our property was part of a large pig farm. The property also sits on a hundred-year flood plain. Consequently, there's an excellent top soil (12" +) over the Ohio clay. Sometime back in the 1980's, someone planted a pair of pear trees in the small orchard.

What the exact varieties are is not known. We've never done much more than harvest and enjoy the pears. One is definitely a winter pear. I suspect it is a Bosc. The fruit is ready for picking in mid to late September. After picking and storing in the basement at a temperature around 55 degrees, the winter pear begins to ripen after 6 weeks. The other most likely is a green Bartlet. It ripens in late August and is sweet and juicy. *Note: two varieties are required for cross-pollination.

Both trees put out an abundance of fruit (as in hundreds of pounds each). We eat them fresh, dried, made into apple/pear butter or, our favorite - pear bread.

Our pear bread recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3 eggs lightly beaten, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups of pear peeled and chopped into small pieces, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and pears in small bowl. Add to the dry mixture. Stir until moistened. Add nuts.

Pour into pans, bake for one hour. Insert a knife into center to check if done. If knife does not come out clean, bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow bread to cool before removing from pan. Bread keeps well in the freezer double-wrapped in foil.

P.S. It's mid-January, and we're still pulling pear bread out of the freezer.

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