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Storing apples & pears29 October 2010
As a general rule early-maturing varieties of apples and pears will not store particularly well and are therefore best eaten as fresh as possible. However later-maturing varieties store much better and can be stored up until spring in the right conditions.
Only begin to pick the fruit when they come off very easily, a simple twist and pull should determine whether the fruit is ready – the apples, and pears alike, should part easily using this technique. If the fruit doesn’t come away easily then leave them on the tree for a couple more days and try again.
Collect the fruit and place them gently into a basket or trug. You can collect windfalls too, but avoid storing any marked or bruised ones, as this will cause rots to set in (ultimately ruining the whole harvest!). Instead use the damaged fruit straight away for home cooking or freeze them.
They can then be stored in a dark well-ventilated place, ideally at a temperature of 2–4C (35 -40F), pears will require a slightly warmer temperature.
Wrap the fruit separately in newspaper and place them on a tray or storing rack where they will be kept.
If you don’t have a place for this type of storing, then pack the fruit into clear plastic bags and put in a cool, frost-free place such as a garage. If storing in this way, make sure you leave the top of the bag open. And be sure to check the fruit every few days for rots or moulds that may have set in – plastic bags tend to promote condensation.