Pears are a delicious and healthy fruit that can be enjoyed fresh or incorporated into a variety of recipes.
However, pears have a relatively short shelf life and will only last about 3–5 days when left at room temperature.
For this reason, many people wonder if they can freeze pears to extend their shelf life and enjoy them at a later date. The good news is that yes, you can absolutely freeze pears!
Freezing pears is a great way to preserve their flavor and nutrition so you can enjoy this tasty fruit all year round. Read on for a complete guide to freezing and storing pears.
How to Freeze Pears
Freezing pears is simple, but there are some tips and tricks to follow for the best results:
1. Choose Ripe, Unbruised Pears
Select pears that are ripe but still firm. Pears should give slightly when pressed but should not be mushy or bruised. Unripe pears will not freeze well, and overripe pears will turn to mush when thawed.
2. Wash and dry the pears.
Rinse pears under cool running water and dry them thoroughly with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel before freezing. Any excess moisture can cause freezer burns.
3. Peel and core the pears (optional)
You can freeze pears with or without the peel and core. Peeling and coring make them easier to use later on. To peel, use a vegetable peeler. To core, use a pear corer or a sharp knife.
4. Slice or dice the pear
Cut pears into smaller pieces for easier use in recipes. Sliced or diced pears will be quick to thaw.
5. Prepare an anti-browning solution.
Pears tend to oxidize and turn brown when exposed to air. An anti-browning solution will prevent this. In a bowl, stir together 1 cup water, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tbsp ascorbic acid or vitamin C powder. Soak sliced pears in this solution for 2 minutes.
6. Drain and pat dry.
Drain the pears well to remove excess anti-browning solution, then pat them dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
7. Arrange on a baking sheet.
Arrange pear slices or chunks in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or metal pan. This prevents pieces from freezing together in a block.
Place the baking sheet with the pears in the freezer. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until completely frozen.
9. Transfer to freezer bags or containers.
Once frozen solid, transfer pear pieces to airtight freezer bags, plastic freezer containers, or Mason jars. Press out excess air and seal.
10. Label and Date
Be sure to label freezer bags or containers with the contents and date. Store in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Choosing the Best Pears for Freezing
When selecting pears for freezing, opt for varieties that are dense and firm. The best types of pears to freeze include:
- Bosc: With their dense, juicy flesh, Bosc pears freeze very well. They maintain their shape when sliced or diced.
- Anjou: Another great choice, Anjou pears are firm with a mild sweet flavor. They hold up nicely when frozen.
- Bartlett pears are the classic pear for canning and freezing. Their texture remains stable after thawing.
- Asian: Though delicate, their sweet flavor comes through after freezing. Slice thinly before freezing.
- Starkrimson: This firm, crisp red pear freezes nicely and adds beautiful color.
Avoid softer varieties like Comice, Seckel, and Forelle, as they tend to get mushy when frozen and thawed.
Tips for Freezing Pears
Follow these tips for best results when freezing pears:
- Use ripe, firm pears for freezing. Underripe or overripe pears will not freeze well.
- Pretreat pears with an anti-browning solution to prevent oxidation. Lemon juice or ascorbic acid work well.
- Freeze pears in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to bags or containers. This prevents clumping.
- Leave some headspace in bags and containers to allow for expansion as the pears freeze.
- Press out as much air as possible, and seal bags and containers tightly. Air causes freezer burns.
- Use high-quality freezer bags or airtight containers to prevent freezer burn.
- Label everything clearly with the contents and date before freezing!
- For best quality and texture, use frozen pears within 10–12 months.
How to Thaw Frozen Pears
Thawing frozen pears is simple:
- Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This slowly defrosts pears for the best texture.
- Or, thaw in a bowl of cold water for 2-3 hours, changing the water every 30 minutes.
- Microwave on the defrost setting, checking often and stirring.
- Once thawed, use immediately. Do not refreeze.
How to Use Frozen Pears
Frozen pears are versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.
- Make smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, or overnight oats.
- Blend into sauces, chutneys, salsa, or marinades.
- Bake into crisps, galettes, pies, cakes, or muffins.
- Poach in red wine or broth for a dessert or savory side dish
- Add to pancake or waffle batter.
- Mix into stuffing or grain salad.
- Puree into soup stocks or cream soups.
So get creative with your frozen pear stash! They make a nutrition-packed addition to both sweet and savory dishes.
How long do frozen pears last?
Provided they are stored properly at 0°F or below, frozen pears can last for the following time periods:
- Frozen raw whole pears: 12 months
- Frozen, sliced, or diced pears: 10–12 months
- Frozen pear puree or sauce: 8–10 months
Going beyond these time periods may result in diminished quality and flavor. Always check frozen pears for signs of freezer burn or ice crystals, which indicate they are past their prime for use.
For the best quality and texture, aim to use your frozen pears within a year. Properly stored frozen pears still retain most of their nutritional value and flavor for enjoyment all year!
Pear Freezing Methods
In addition to slicing and dicing, consider these other ways to freeze pears:
- Puree: for baby food, smoothies, or baking. Peel, core, and cook pears before pureeing.
- Halves: great presentation for poached pears. Leave stems on, core, then freeze cut-side down on a sheet.
- Whole: Ideal for roasting later. Freeze first on a tray, then transfer.
- Pie Filling: Make a filling with diced pears, sugar, spices, and starch. Freeze in balls.
- Sauce: Cook pears with sugar and flavorings. Chill before freezing.
Storing Frozen Pears
To get the longest shelf life out of frozen pears:
- Use high-quality freezer bags or containers designed for freezing. Avoid thin, porous bags prone to freezer burn.
- Press out as much air as possible and seal containers tightly. Air causes freezer burns on pears.
- Fill bags or containers to capacity with pear slices or chunks to reduce air pockets.
- If storing multiple bags, arrange them flat in a single layer in the freezer rather than stacking. This helps them freeze solidly.
- Place bags or containers towards the back of the freezer, where the temperature is most stable.
- Avoid opening the freezer frequently. Fluctuating temperatures degrade frozen fruits faster.
- Label and date all frozen pears! This prevents mystery bags and keeps track of how long they’ve been stored.
Freezing Pear Puree
To freeze homemade pear puree or sauce:
- Peel, core, and slice pears before cooking them down into a puree. Adding a bit of lemon juice helps prevent browning.
- For a smooth consistency, use a food processor, blender, or immersion blender to puree cooked pears.
- Chill the puree in the refrigerator before freezing. This condenses some of the liquid.
- Portion puree into freezer bags or containers, leaving headspace. Squeeze out air, seal, label, and freeze.
- Frozen pear puree retains flavor for about 8–10 months.
Other Fruits to Freeze with Pears
Pears pair beautifully with fall fruits when making freezer jam, baked goods, or compotes. Consider freezing pears along with:
- Apples are a delicious combination in crisps, pies, muffins, and preserves.
- Quinces: Mix quince and pear puree for tart freezer jam.
- Cranberries: Toss pears and cranberries into muffin, bread, or chutney recipes.
- Persimmons: Blend pears and ripe persimmons for a gorgeous winter fruit smoothie.
- Plums: Bake frozen diced pears and plums together for a sweet, tart flavor.
Mix and match pears with other fruits for endless creativity when baking and cooking!
Serving Ideas for Frozen Pears
When ready to use, here are tasty ways to serve thawed frozen pears:
- Bake into tarts, galettes, buckles, cakes, cookies, and breads.
- Whip into pancake batter or waffle mix.
- Mix into yogurt, oatmeal, granola, and chia pudding.
- Blend into smoothies, milkshakes, and ice cream.
- Fold into crepes or blintzes fillings.
- Top yogurt parfaits or chia puddings
- Mix into stuffing, couscous, or grain salads.
- Puree into vinaigrettes, sauces, and chutneys.
- Poach in red wine with spices for dessert
- Roast halves with honey, nuts, and cheese
So try freezing pears this season and enjoy their versatility all year long!
FAQs About Freezing Pears
Can you freeze pears without blanching?
Yes, blanching is not necessary when freezing pears! The exception would be if you wanted to freeze cooked soft pear puree or sauce; blanching briefly would inactivate enzymes and prevent browning. But for raw frozen pears, slices or chunks, no blanching is needed as long as they are pretreated in an anti-browning solution prior to freezing.
What kind of pears freeze best?
The best pears for freezing are firmer, dense varieties like Anjou, Bosc, and Bartlett. Softer and more delicate pears like Comice and Asian pears do not freeze quite as well. Their tender flesh can become mealy or mushy when thawed.
Can you freeze sliced pears?
Yes, sliced pears freeze very well! The slices will retain their shape and texture nicely. Pretreat them in an anti-browning solution, pat them dry, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze them solid before transferring them to bags or containers.
How do you keep pears from turning brown when freezing?
An anti-browning solution is the key to preventing frozen pears from oxidizing and turning brown. A quick soak in a mixture of water, lemon juice, and vitamin C powder before freezing will keep the pears fresh-looking.
Should you blanch pears before freezing?
Blanching is not necessary when freezing raw pear chunks or slices. Blanching would only be needed if frozen cooked pear puree was used to stop enzyme activity and prevent potential browning. For raw frozen pears, simply pretreating with an anti-browning acid solution is sufficient.
Can you refreeze thawed frozen pears?
It is best not to refreeze previously frozen pears. When pears are thawed and then refrozen, this can damage cell structures and cause a mushy texture. Only refreeze pears if they are incorporated into a cooked dish or if they still have ice crystals present.
The Convenience of Frozen Pears
Freezing pears is an excellent way to enjoy their seasonal freshness year-round. With proper preparation and storage methods, frozen pears retain their flavor, texture, and nutrition.
Work some frozen pears into your smoothies, oatmeal, sauces, baked goods, and more! With a bounty of pears on hand, you’ll be prepared to add their sweetness to both sweet and savory dishes at any time of year.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.