Pear Cream Soda
It’s been a while since I made sodas at home, and the first one I tried was inspired by some fresh ripe organic fruit picked up at the Alemany Farmer’s market. It’s a cross between a regular cream soda and a pear soda. We drank four liters of it in less than a week. The directions here are somewhat terse. For more complete information on equipment used, try the book Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop by Stephen Cresswell.
- 4 lbs. ripe pears
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. Cream of Tartar
- 1/8 tsp. Ale Yeast (available from a brewer’s supply shop)
- 1 sheet cheesecloth
- Clean, sanitized bottles. We used four Lorina lemonade bottles, each 1 liter in size
- 1 clean and sanitized small plastic screw-top bottle, .3 to .5 liters in size
Wash pears and grate in a food processor. Set aside. Heat 4 1/2 liters of good water (spring water or filtered tap) over medium heat to a boil. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add pears, return to a boil, and remove from heat. Split vanilla bean, scrape seeds and drop seeds and pod into pear mixture. Add Cream of Tartar, stir thoroughly and cover pot. Let steep 30 minutes.
At the end of 30 minutes, taste mixture. If not sweet enough, add more sugar and stir. Place pot in a sink surrounded by cool or ice water and stir until temperature drops to 80 degrees. Place yeast in a small container and cover with lukewarm water. Stir yeast to dissolve and let sit 5 minutes.
Filter pear mixture through 1-2 layers of cheesecloth into another clean container. Add yeast and stir well. Pour mixture into clean bottles using a funnel or a bottle filler. Close bottles tightly and leave at room temperature for 24-48 hours. When the small plastic bottle is quite firm to the press, place all bottles in the refrigerator. Soda will get increasingly carbonated as the days go on, and it’s suggested you finish the soda in 1-2 weeks.