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Pear Liquor

Dave and I are members of the Park Slope Food Co-op, where we each do a two and a half hour work shift once every four weeks in exchange for the right to shop. Sounds crazy, maybe, but I can walk three blocks from my apartment and find fresh turmeric root, fresh galangal, curry leaves, organic everything, and incredibly inexpensive Scharffenberger chocolate. That’s worth a few hours a month of physical labor.

A few months back, we were stocking produce when Dave decided he had to buy a big sack of Stark Crimson pears. The problem with working with produce is that at the end of your shift, you know exactly what is freshest and ripest and best in the store, and you have the time to shop then and there. Those pears came home with us.

Dave rinsed them, chopped them up into approximately 1″ chunks, and threw them into a big mason jar with some cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. He added just enough vodka to cover the contents, then closed the jar and left it in the pantry for a month or so, taking it out and shaking it occasionally. Once it tasted strong enough, he strained out the pears and spices, and added sugar syrup to sweeten the liquor.

We like to leave it in the freezer for a while before serving, as you would limoncello, so that it has a chance to thicken and chill. It is one of the best things to ever emerge from our kitchen. Sweet, rich, intensely flavored – neither of us tend to enjoy alcohol, but we can’t stop sipping this liquor, and he has another batch in progress already.

Also, did I mention that I have a new camera? The Canon 30D. It’s my first digital SLR (oh, let’s be honest – it’s my first SLR, period). These are among the first photos I took with it when it arrived last night. The photo of the liquor was taken with the Canon 100mm/f2.8 Macro lens, and the photo of Dave protesting (yawning, he says) was taken with the Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens.

They’re already better than anything I could do with my old Canon PowerShot S400 (what I’ve been using up to this point), and I still haven’t really figured out how to use this thing yet.

I love the new camera set-up. I want a better tripod and more lenses already.

I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.

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11 Responses to “Pear Liquor”

  1. Nicole says:

    I am very jealous of your camera! Stew says if he gets a new camera, I can have his old one, but…. I want one now!! :)

    How much sugar in the liquor, BTW?


  2. Reene says:

    I admire your ability to defer gratification! In my house, all fresh fruit gets devoured immediately. The liquor sounds absolutely lovely! Save me a sip for New Year’s.

  3. Danielle says:

    Nicole – To taste? I think it ended up being approximately a simple syrup made up of 1 C sugar and 1 C water, in about 750 ml infused vodka. But that’s only a vague estimate based on my very poor memory, so, to taste.

    Reene – I’d been planning on saving some for you.

  4. Brilynn says:

    I can only imagine what you’ll be able to do with your new camera, I was already totally impressed with your photos. That first shot of the pears is amazing!

  5. Yvo says:

    Oh congratulations on the new camera!!!! I was looking at that first picture drooling and LOVING the frostish on the shot glass? How many different lens did you get with it?

    (The pear liqueur sounds fantastic, btw.)

  6. This beverage would make a lovely ice cream. And the alcohol content would make the freezing point lower.

    The new shots make me envious. This year I am going to get a digital SLR. Thanks for the push!

  7. Danielle says:

    Brilynn – Thank you! It’s turning out to be hard to adjust, but fun.

    Yvo – Just the two lenses, though I’m already craving more. I really want a Lensbaby 3G.

    shuna – Hmmm, yeah. We’ve left it in the freezer overnight and eaten it as a slush, which is lovely. Definitely get an SLR – I look forward to seeing what you do with it!

    Josh – Wait, what? I thought he’d been planning to move to Cobble Hill, not close. This is depressing news.

  8. Enthusia says:

    i can attest to the deliciousness of the brew–i put one together just the other day. i hope it tastes as good as the vial you sent. just in case, i’m saving the last drops to compare and make adjustments.

  9. Marieke says:

    Hi there,

    Sounds familiar: my husband owns a Canon 30D (he makes the pictures on our blog) and has a wish list of new items. I think he also has the same macro lens with which he did some intense insect and leaf photographing in the garden :-). He also build a light box were we usually take the pictures of our food. Cook, run to the box upstairs, take picture, run downstairs, eat… that’s our ritual.

    Greetings from Amsterdam

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