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Nova Scotia Pears
Biting into a juicy pear is one of the delights of late summer and early fall in Nova Scotia. Although they predate written history, Homer's refers to them as "Gifts of the Gods". They arrived in North America with the earliest settlers from Europe.

How can you tell if a pear is ripe? You should select firm fruit. Don't be concerned with minor scars or blemishes, they won't affect the delicious fruit below the skin. You can't depend on the colour to let you know. Apply gentle pressure near the base of the stem. If it yields slightly, it's ripe and you should be ready for the full flavour and sweetness of a locally grown Clapp, Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou pear. Pears should be ripened at room temperature for 3 to 7 days. To speed up the process store in a brown paper bag. Once ripe you should refrigerate. Always wash fruit before eating, not before storing.

Pears are high in dietary fibre and good for the diet-conscious, an average sized one has around 100 calories. They are great sources of potassium and Vitamin C.

Visit "On the Land & Sea" Resource Directory for a list of U-Pick operations in Nova Scotia.

The following links provide more information about pears:

U-Picks in Nova Scotia (On the Land & Sea Directory)
Pears Nutrition Facts
A Guide to Nova Scotia Apples & Pears
Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association
U-Pick Food Safety

Pear & Cranberry Crisp

1 cup flour
2/3 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup butter, cut in pieces
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped raw apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

7 or 8 slightly under-ripe pears
(about 3 1/2 pounds) peeled, cored and cut into pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan with 2 inch high sides.

Topping: Combine first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Add butter and cut in, using fingertips or pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Filling: Toss remaining ingredients in a large bowl and combine well. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Set dish on baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until topping is golden and juices bubble thickly, about an hour. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6 servings.

For more information, contact:

Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association
Tel: (902) 678-1093 or (902) 678-1567
Kentville Agricultural Centre, Blair House
Kentville, Nova Scotia B4N 1J5
Web Site: Web Site:

  Last Update: June 23, 2010