Recipes from Kaylin's Kitchen - Peaches, Apples, and Pears, OH MY!
Sat, 09/03/2011 - 8:17pm — Kaylin Bade-Reporter
August, September, and October brings a wealth of Peaches, Apples, and Pears to Missouri. From growing them in our own yards to heading to commercial farms to pick-your-own, there is a plethora of fruit to be found.
Of the fall fruits featured, peaches ripen first. Their cooking, canning, preserving, and fresh quality is unmatched by other fruits. The 2007 Missouri Census of Agriculture reports that Missouri has 352 peach farms which include 2,314 acres. Franklin County is home to 10 farms with a total of 6 acres of peaches. Cape Girardeau holds the most of the Missouri counties at 155 acres.
As the product of American schools, most of us are familiar with the legend of Johnny Appleseed. Ol’ Johnny travelled throughout the countryside in early America, planting apple seeds. While this story has most likely been embellished over time, the original tale is true. John Chapman was a well-educated young man when he became a nurseryman at age 25. Travelling first throughout New York and Pennsylvania, then to the Northwest Territory which included Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, John spread the gospel and apple seeds. Most people paid Mr. Chapman for the seeds, although for those who could not afford it he traded for a warm place to sleep or a meal. On September 26, we can celebrate Johnny’s 237th birthday.
Pear trees are easily grown in our area of Missouri, other than the risk of fire blight which can also harm apple trees. Pears can be picked while unripe, as long as the seeds have turned brown, and kept in a cool dark place until needed to ripen. Depending on the type of pear tree, picking season can begin as early as the beginning of August and continues through November. According to the University of Missouri Extension, the pear with the least amount of work and best results is the Honeysweet. This breed is resistant to fire blight and produces “a yellow fruit with a flavor similar to Seckel, but is larger in size.” This variety matures in late August and should be cross-pollinated with Starking Delicious for best results. Like most fruit trees, they should be planted in the spring.
Caramel Spice Pear Butter