Nashi Pears

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Nashi pears come from eastern Asia, China, Japan and Korea. They are very juicy and resemble apples in shape. Don looked at the best varieties for the home garden, while Geoff Jansz used Nashis to prepare an appetiser and a dessert.

Varieties

‘Nijisseiki’
An upright, spreading tree, which is partially self-fertile. It produces juicy, medium-sized fruit with yellowish green, clear skin. The fruit is of good eating quality, with a mild flavour becoming tart nearer the core.

‘Hosui’
This tree has a weeping habit. The fruit is medium/large, with light brown skin and sweet, juicy flesh. It is pollinated by Nashi varieties ‘Shinsui’, ‘Nijisseiki’ and ‘Kosui’.

‘Kosui’
The fruit of ‘Kosui’ is golden yellow to tan. The flesh is juicy and tender, with a slightly bland flavour. It is pollinated by Nashi varieties ‘Hosui’, Chojuro’ and ‘Nijisseiki’.

Growing Nashi pears

Nashi pears are grown in much the same way as European pears, but they generally have lower chilling requirements. They often set large crops, so thinning of smaller fruit is necessary. Thinning helps prevent limb breakage and allows the remaining fruit to grow to optimum size and quality. The only major pest in most areas of Australia is Pear and cherry slug (Caliroa cerasi). The larvae of this glossy black sawfly feed on the upper surface of the leaves until only the veins remain. You can ignore the problem, hose the larvae off the leaves, or use a caterpillar killer such as Dipel.

Recipes

Nashi Pear & Rocket Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Nashis, peeled and diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 50ml walnut oil or olive oil
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rocket leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small breadstick, sliced
  • 200g soft blue cheese

Method

1. Slice the breadstick and grill the slices.
2. Spread with blue cheese and top with the Nashi mix.

Nashi Pears Poached in Red Wine

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Nashi pears, peeled and cored
  • 750ml red wine
  • 375ml water
  • 11/2-2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split
  • 4 strips orange rind, washed
  • 2 strips lemon rind, washed
  • prunes, pitted (optional)

Method

1. Put the red wine, water, sugar, cinnamon quill, cloves, vanilla bean, orange rind and lemon rind into a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Peel the Nashis and prepare in one of the following ways:

– leave the cores in
– remove the cores
– remove the cores and stuff with pitted prunes

3. When you have prepared the Nashis, add them to the saucepan, cover with a lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on and allow to reach room temperature.

4. Serve chilled with vanilla ice cream.

Further details

  • Nashi pears are available bare-rooted from nurseries in July and August – order from your local nursery. Expect to pay from $25 for 2 year-old bare rooted trees. For more information about Nashi pears, contact the Australian Nashi Growers Association, phone: (03) 5825 3700.