Pears are a low-calorie fruit and a natural source of fibre and vitamin C. With more than 3,000 varieties, pears are used in recipes all around the world. While frozen pears are traditionally packed with sugar syrup, you can also freeze fresh pears using the dry pack method. The dry pack method does not require any sweetener, but since these pears brown faster than their counterparts prepared with sugar, you need to take special precautions to ensure a quality fruit.
Pick the pears you want to freeze. Opt for firm pears that are uniformly ripened.
Choose a container for storage that is moisture and vapour resistant.
Wash and drain the pears, but do not soak them.
Prepare your pears for freezing. Peel them and remove any visible brown spots. Slice them into twelfths (more if a larger sized fruit), then remove the core, seeds and stems.
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoons of ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons of cold water. Sprinkle over the pears to help prevent discolouration.
Place the pear slices on a shallow tray and move them to the freezer. Allow them to fully freeze for a couple hours. Once frozen, immediately remove and place them in a container to prevent freezer burn. Return them to the freezer for storage.
Pears have a tendency to darken quickly when frozen and lose flavour when subsequently thawed. Prevent this by using citric or ascorbic acid. Pears that will be cooked prior to use can also be steamed. Unsweetened pears can also be packed in water or natural juice. If you want to add sweetness to your pears without using sugar, consider adding a sugar substitute before serving. Pears frozen using the dry pack method take longer to thaw than those frozen with sugar syrups and may be softer.