Today I am making Bartlett Pear-Orange Wine. I won’t be growing oranges, of course, but bought a box of them at Costco this week and decided to add orange to my Bartlett Pears (I planted a Bartlett Pear tree last summer) to make a more complex wine.
Instead of using 3 pounds of pears like I did with my D’Anjou Pear Wine, I will use 4 pounds of Bartlett Pears. For the orange, a couple navel oranges plus their peel as fresh orange zest. I allowed the pears to ripen until they are quite fragrant and sweet smelling.
4 pounds Bartlett Pears, fully ripened
6 cups pure cane sugar
zest and juice from one navel orange
Nonchlorinated water to make 2 gallons
1/2 packet proofed yeast
Into a 2 gallon fermenting jar, cut 4 pounds of pears into small chunks, removing the cores and stems. Set aside seeds to dry for 3 days, then plant for new pear trees. Mash pears thoroughly with a plastic or wood masher. Add 2 quarts of water. Stir.
Dissolve 6 cups of pure cane sugar (unmarked sugar is made from GMO beets) in two quarts of hot water. Add to pear mix.
Clean orange thoroughly, then zest into small pan of water. If you don’t have a zester, you can use a vegetable parer, but take care not to include the white portion as it can be quite bitter. Simmer for several minutes. Pour liquid through a doubled layer of boiled cheesecloth into the glass jar.
Proof 1/2 packet of yeast in water with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Add to fruit mixture in glass jar.
Cover and allow to ferment at 60-70°F for 2-3 weeks or until fermentation slows. Stir every few days. Rack. Let ferment another week or until it reaches desired alcohol content. Stop fermentation. Rack. Allow a month for solids to settle, rack again. Bottle.
I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Each wine is an adventure. My climate may not be perfect for wine grapes, but I can grow fruit and have delicious fruit wines, brandies, and even eau d’vie. Wines are an amazing food preservation tool, keeping both bulk calories and phytonutrients preserved for years. Drink in moderation; like most things, too much alcohol has a down side.
I racked my Cranberry Wine this morning. Nice flavor.
I hope a bit of orange complements and adds complexity to my Bartlett Pear- Orange wine. Bartlett Pears are a preferred fruit for Eau d’Vie in Europe. When my fruit trees are producing abundantly, I will also distill Eau d’Vie.