Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pear Relish

So when I went to visit my neighbor last weekend she mentioned that another neighbor of ours (a friend of hers) had a pear tree in his front yard and it was a shame because the pears were just falling off the tree because no one wanted them. I mentioned that I wished I had them. I don't know that neighbor very well however and didn't feel like I could just go ask him if I could have his pears. But like usual out here the message got sent on and he picked all the pears from the tree and brought them to our mutual friends house for me to pick them up there. There were about 25 lbs of hard pears!
The one thing my friend mentioned to me that these hard pears were good for was making pear relish. Pear relish is quite popular here in the South but, since I am not from here, I had never seen it or tasted it. As usual, I looked it up online and found several recipes...all of them different,  so just kind of made up my own.
Hard pears off the tree in someone's yard do not look much like those nice ones you get in the stores. Here is one of my bags of pears (there were three of them and I still have two left).
But they are nice and white inside once peeled. They do have rather large cores though and some of these were quite small. I peeled and peeled, and my back hurt...a LOT, and still I peeled and cored until I felt I had enough. It was enough to almost fill my largest bowl. I washed them and then whirred them up in the food processor. Looks a lot like applesauce.
I then added these three lovely red Italian sweet onions. I chopped these up in the food processor as well.
I also chopped up a large green bell pepper, a large orange bell pepper, and two fat jalapeno peppers. Pretty!
To this I added 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground mustard,  and 1 1/2 tsp pickling spice. Let this simmer on low for about a half hour. Ladle into hot jars, adjust lids and water bath can 10 minutes.
I ended up with 7 pints. I will have to take some to my friend and the owner of the pear tree. There are still a lot of pears to deal with tomorrow plus I have several pumpkins that I bought that were marked down. Going to be busy again tomorrow.

14 comments:

  1. Oh what a nice gift. I've never had pear relish (being from the north). It seems a lot like chutney with different spices.

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    1. It smelled wonderful when it was cooking :)

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  2. i am in the deep south of mississippi and i have never heard of pear relish...but i have heard of and made "pear honey"-which is pears and pineapple...lots of sugar and cooked thick...and great with thos cat paw biscuits.

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    1. Yeah, it is weird the things I hear are Southern favorites but most Southerners have never tried. I think they were favorites at one time but maybe not in this last generation or two. My friend Diane told me about the pear relish and she has been here all her life.

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  3. I wouldn't like this, because of the bell peppers in it, but it does sound like the sort of thing you enjoy - and you certainly made the most of a good opportunity. Did you ever see the post I wrote about Pickled Pears? (8 Sep 2011 - http://marksvegplot.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/pickled-pears.html) This describes another way of using under-ripe pears.

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    1. Thanks Mark. I do think I saw that post but I'll go look at it again. I have plenty of pears left and need to find a way to use it. In most relishes I really can't taste the peppers or onions or whatever, since the flavors just combine together to make one of their own.

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  4. I like the sound of this very much - I haven't tried relish with pears before but I've make other relishes all the time and really enjoy them. Hope you enjoy this.

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    1. If only we had smell-a-vision, everyone would know how good it is going to be. It definitely had that "relish" smell only better, of course, since it was cooked at home.

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  5. your never one to waste a free opportunity and why not with lovely pears going to waste, oh and we like jalapeno peppers we grow them so going to show this recipe to my better half

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    1. I think I'll be growing a lot more too. Got a good chicken recipe coming up (once I get done with the pears, that has jalapenos too!

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  6. How great that they did not go waste! I bet it'll be delicious as a side to some of that homegrown pork!

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  7. Hi Becky! I grew up eating pear relish and I love it! I just didn't make any this year because it's quite labor intensive, thus the reason most Southerners haven't eaten it. Most people I know don't can or preserve anything, so they definitely wouldn't know about pear relish! An 'old Southern' favorite! Thanks for sharing your experience and keeping the old favorites alive! Blessings from Bama!

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  8. A great find! What are you going to eat it with? I think some of those classic dishes have been lost by people moving away from canning at home.

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    1. Actually I have no idea what it is eaten with. Will have to taste it and see I guess.

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