Making Kieffer Pears Palatable

Q: On your website you say that only canning makes Kieffer pears palatable. I’ve found an exception. A few years ago I had a bumper crop of hard pears. I gathered a paper bag full and left it in my storage room for several weeks. Much to my surprise, the pears were as fragrant, soft, and delicious as any table pear.

A: My mother used to do the same thing. If memory serves, she would look for the most perfect pears and wash them gently with diluted bleach water. She put them in a brown paper bag in a dark place and checked them every day. Sometimes they would rot but sometimes they’d be soft and delicious like yours.