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Conference pears

I have just moved into a house with a conference pear tree which has lots of lovely big pears. I have read that pears should be picked before they are ripe and then stored but I'm confused about when to pick them and the best way to ripen them.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Pears ripen from inside to outside, Moonshoe. By the time they're softening on the outside, they're overripe inside. Give the flesh around the stem a gentle prod. If the flesh "gives" ever so slightly, it's time to harvest.

    Pears ripen off the tree. Take them inside and keep an eye on them. As per above, the softer the skin gets, the more chance they'll be overripe inside.

  • Thanks for your reply, Italophile. We did take a pear inside a couple of weeks ago, and put it on the side in the kitchen, but it hasn't ripened. I guess it will be trial and error but as a guide, if picked at the right time, how long should they take to ripen? Also, what are the ideal conditions, once indoors, to help them ripen?

    Many thanks
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Timing is hard to say, it depends how mature they are when harvested. Room temperature indoors is all you need.

    I grow Coscia, a Sicilian variety that are earlier than Conference, but Conference should be coming into harvest season around now.


  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Mmmm. The software just ate my reply. I'll try again.

    Pears are a tricky one to get right in terms of maturity because the activity is taking place inside the fruit, out of sight. It might take some trial and error. Room temperature inside counts as ideal conditions and the time they take inside really depends on how mature they are.

    As above, if there's a wee bit of "give" in the flesh around the stem, it's already happily edible. Another test is how easily it comes off the tree. If it slips off the tree very easily, it's also pretty ready. A couple of days inside at that stage of advancement would see them close to perfect.

    I grow Coscia, a Sicilian variety that's much earlier than Conference. I've already harvested mine. As far as I know, September is about your harvest time. If you've got plenty on the tree, you might as well start experimenting.

  • Many thanks for your detailed reply. We have now picked some more pears from the tree and look forward to them ripening. I would be interested in any ideas for preserving the fruit as it would a shame for them to go to waste as there are so many of them. A friend is sending me a recipe for pickled pears.
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