Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Kieffer Pear Tree

In Old World folklore, planting a pear tree was a living good-luck charm.
Our lovely little peach tree was planted eight years ago on the exact spot where my daughter and son in law stood to exchange their wedding vows. It's a Kieffer pear (originated near Philadelphia in 1863), the only pear tree in our orchard. Because it is special to us, we have enjoyed watching it's slow and steady growth with patience and anticipation. We were not disappointed. This year, for the first time, our pear tree was was loaded with fruit!  
The Kieffer Pear is considered a self fertile, hearty, heirloom pear tree that seems to have lots of mixed reviews. After a little first hand experience, I can honesty tell you that I also was a little confused about how and when to harvest this little jewel of a tree!  
As September rolled around, the little pears had turned into lovely big fat pears. Their color was a beautiful spotted golden-green. We watched and waited until the middle of October for the pears to turn yellow and soften  into that delicate, buttery eating stage ... but they just never did! 
After a little research, I think I totally understand this pear! First, I went back through my files and read the description for the tree, "large, yellow skinned fruit with dull red blush. Crisp, juicy white flesh with coarse texture. Great for canning and baking. Hardy, vigorous tree, tolerates hot climates and is a heavy producer". 
This tells me it's a CRISP pear and it's good for canning and baking. It says nothing about eating!
The kieffer Pear is considered an Oriental pear. Think... crunchy like an apple, only with a coarse texture. When picked green and refrigerated this pear will keep for weeks. When you're ready to use, ripen in a brown bag.
Now that we know what to expect from our long awaited peaches, they are best pickled, baked, poached, thinly sliced for salads or with a little cheese, the Kieffer pears are worth the wait. They are loaded with a high potassium and fiber content, making it a very healthy fruit! 
Our pears were turned into pear sauce, using this recipe, pear muffins, using this recipe. My daughter, Cait, turned the pears into a new favorite, Pear Clafoutis posted on her site here!
In the spring, the tree is covered with beautiful white blossoms!
Baby pears!
A Kieffer Pear, it is beautiful!
Our newly planted Kieffer Pear tree, eight years ago! It has grown into a beautiful fruit tree, covered with glossy green leaves and big yellow pears!.

Oh, no... only four Kieffer Pears left in the ripening bag... it only makes those last few bites a little sweeter!

Here's to a bountiful Autumn!

p.s. here's another site that tells a great story about the Kieffer Pear.


Joanne said...

Oh my goodness how beautiful! Tell me do you have problems with squirrels? I am dying to plant some fruit trees here but my Father-in-law says why bother the squirrels get the best fruit.
Blessings, Joanne

ann said...

The pear tree is so amazing. Pears are a very healthy fruit to eat and yours look so gorgeous and delicious.

Lylah Ledner said...

Oh Jill....wish I had one of those! It's lovely!

HolleyGarden said...

I just love when the pear trees bloom in spring. Such a delicate and sweet bloom. Your tree did very well - what a lot of fruit it produced! And what a sweet sentiment attached to the tree, too. Very special.

wilderness said...

Beautiful fruit. How I would love to have fruit trees. I have to apple tries that are young. I am hoping for maybe a few apples next year but that is about all that likes to grow and live here.

OrganicMama said...

Gorgeous!! Love the recipe too.

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

Hi Jill,
I think we have the same pear tree in our backyard. I made some pear chutney that I cannot wait to serve with my pork roast tomorrow. The recipe is on our blog. Thanks for the visit and follow. Now I'm following you!