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Pear puree is made of mashed pear pulp and is popular as a first baby food. Many parents like to use pear puree as food for their babies as pears are rich in vitamin C, iron, folic acid and iodine, all of which are necessary for normal growth. In addition, the fruits are also very easy to digest, and are therefore an excellent choice for babies that are being weaned.
Fresh, ripe pears are generally best for making pear puree, but, in the event fresh fruits are not available, slices from tinned, processed pears can be pureed. It is also possible to buy pureed pear products in ready to use forms. It is important to keep in mind though that many of these may contain chemical preservatives.
To make pear puree from a fresh pear, it is advisable to wash and peel the fruit first and to remove its seeds and core. The fruit should then be cut into small pieces or grated; it is best not to let it sit around too long as it may then start to turn brown. The fruit pieces should be placed in water, and sugar and lemon juice can be added if desired.
The pear pieces are next heated and brought to boil on medium heat. The heat is then turned low and the fruit pieces are allowed to simmer until the fruit softens. This may take five to ten minutes.
The pears, ideally, should be tender but not mushy. Ripe pears can usually be quite soft, so care must be taken that they are not overcooked. The softened fruit is then left to cool and absorb the sugary syrup. It can then be either mashed with a fork or a hand blender, or it may be processed in a food processor.
The pear puree, once it is ready and completely cooled, can be stored in containers with airtight lids, or it may be poured into ice cube trays and frozen. The puree that is stored in the containers can be good to eat for up to a week, while the frozen pear puree can last for as long as three months. The pear puree may be eaten as it is, or it may be added to cereal and oatmeal and eaten with milk or yogurt. Aside from being used as a baby food, pear puree may also be used as an ingredient in many recipes for fruit cocktails, cakes and ice cream.
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