Fresh pears are plump, delicious, and so juicy! Can you freeze pears? You bet. Freezing pears at peak ripeness is a brilliant way to enjoy them year-round. Follow these Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen tips for how to freeze pears for smoothies, pies, and more.
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Fresh pears are versatile enough to use in sweet or savory dishes, as our tempting best pear recipes prove. Pork Chops with Cranberries and Pears or Chocolate-Pear Spice Cake, anyone? About 93% of U.S. pears are grown in just a few Western states (including California, Washington, and Oregon). Due to the climate in these growing regions, pear season is unfortunately short; it runs from August through October. So you might be wondering, "Can I freeze pears to enjoy them outside that short in-season window?" The answer is yes and there are a couple of ways to do it.  Freezing pears allows you to use juicy Bartletts, sweet Anjous, and crunchy Boscs all year long. Come peak season, stock up on this fall fruit at the farmers market or grocery store, then follow our Test Kitchen instructions for freezing pears.

pear close up
Credit: Andy Lyons

How to Freeze Pears Perfectly, Every Time

When selecting fruit for frozen pears, choose firm, ripe fruit for best results. So how much is enough? Anywhere from 2 to 3 pounds of fresh pears yield about 1 quart frozen pears, depending on your method for freezing pears. Then follow these steps for how to freeze pears in syrup.

  1. Store your fresh pears in the refrigerator if they can't be frozen immediately. (In case you missed it, we're ending the "fridge or counter?" debate with a complete guide for where to store all of your produce.) 
  2. Rinse and drain small quantities of whole, fresh pears through several changes of cold water. Lift fruit out of the water; do not let it soak.
  3. Peel, halve, and core pears. 
  4. Treat the cut fruit with a solution that prevents browning by allowing it to soak for about 3 minutes in acidic water. For 1 quart of water, you can add any of these options:
    • ¾ teaspoon ascorbic acid
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • ¼ tablespoon citric acid
  5. Drain the fruit.
  6. Prepare a syrup to freeze the pears in. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit (and your personal taste), choose a light or heavy syrup. To prepare a syrup, place the following amounts of sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Skim off foam if necessary. Chill the syrup for frozen fruits
    • For very light syrup: use 1⅔ cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4¼ cups syrup
    • For medium syrup: use 2⅔ cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4⅔ cups syrup
    • For heavy syrup: use 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 5¾ cups syrup
  7. For the next step of freezing pears, you'll need to measure your cut fruit and cooled syrup. For every 2 cups fruit, use ½ to ⅔ cup syrup. Add to freezer-safe containers ($3, Target), leaving recommended headspace.
    • For a wide-top container that has straight or slightly flared sides: leave ½-inch headspace for pints, 1-inch headspace for quarts
    • For narrow-top containers and freezer-safe jars: leave ¾-inch headspace for pints, 1-½-inch headspace for quarts
  8. Wipe container rims. Seal according to the manufacturer's directions, pressing out as much air as possible. If necessary, use freezer tape around the edges of the lids to ensure a tight seal around your frozen pears.
  9. Label each container with its contents, the amount, and the date.
  10. Add packages to the freezer in batches to make sure that food freezes quickly and solidly. Leave some space between the packages so air can circulate around them. When frozen solid, the packages can be placed closer together.
  11. Use frozen fruits within eight to 10 months. Thaw fruits in their containers either in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cool water.

A Quicker Way to Freeze Pears

If you're searching for how to freeze pears without syrup, and in fewer steps, use a dry pack (aka flash freeze). Here's how:

  1. Rinse and drain small quantities of whole, fresh pears through several changes of cold water. Lift fruit out of the water; do not let it soak. 
  2. Peel, halve, and core pears, then cut into slices or wedges.
  3. Line a cookie sheet or sheet pan with parchment paper, then top that prepared sheet with the sliced pears.
  4. Place the sheet and pears in the freezer and allow to freeze solid.
  5. Transfer the frozen pears to freezer-safe bags ($9, Target), pressing out as much air as possible before sealing.
  6. Label each container with its contents, the amount, and the date.
  7. Add packages to the freezer in batches to make sure that food freezes quickly and solidly. Leave some space between the packages so air can circulate around them. When frozen solid, the packages can be placed closer together.
  8. Use frozen fruits within eight to 10 months. Thaw fruits in their containers either in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cool water.

So the answer to, "can I freeze pears?" is a strong "yes!" In fact, now you know two ways to preserve the fresh fall fruit at their prime. 

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