I arrived at the cottage a few days ago and realized that I got here in the nick of time! There is a slim window of opportunity when the pear blossoms have faded and the the developing fruit, just beginning to form, is still small enough to fit through the neck of the bottle. Once it is secured in a clear wine bottle, the pear will continue to grow!
Can you see the grape-sized pear inside the glass? There is another pear resting on the outside of the bottle. First I decided which pear I was going to use. Then I clipped off all of the leaves on that small branch, so that the pear could grow into the bottle without any leaves, dirt or debris. The goal is to have a simple clean branch with one pear growing on the end.
Then I fed the pear through the neck of the bottle and taped a wire clothes hanger to the bottle and hooked it in the tree for support. It needs to have enough give or flex so that the wind can blow and the bottle can bob in the wind without snapping the twig or dropping out of the tree. **July 1 The tape gave way and the bottle fell out of the tree! The first photo was my attempt to hang it in the tree - don't do it that way! My dad made this fabulous bottle holder, by bending plastic-coated wire. Follow his example below to make your own wind-proof bottle holder. The angle is also good because any rain water or condensation will drip out.
When the pear is about 2-3 inches in size and ripe, you simply tug on the branch and the pear will pick itself and drop into the empty bottle. Take the bottle inside and run warm water inside to rinse the bottle clean, freshen up the pear and remove all of the debris. Now pour in your ginger brandy, either to a batch that has already aged and mellowed, or a new mixture that you want to age 6 months. Make sure that the liquid covers the pear completely. This bottle is from last year - divine!
I am growing this year's pear in a gorgeous Riesling wine bottle by Sofia Coppola. The bottle is almost pear-shaped and I know that it will look wonderful showcasing a pear in liquor.
I am trying to locate my ginger pear brandy recipe. I know that it is a combination of vodka, bottled pear juice, sugar and a few slices of fresh ginger steeped together for 6 months or more. The first time I made it, the result was silky smooth and delicious. But what are the proportions I used? Picture me flinging pieces of paper over my head searching for my notes. Stay tuned...