It’s one of those conversation starters: how did the pear get into the bottle? The answer: with an age-old French technique, and a lot of patience.
Every year, around the time spring starts to blossom and small fruits begin to grow, our guests are enthralled by the glittering array of bottled young pears we have on display in the pear trees.
These pears are carefully placed in the bottles when they’re still very small. Our gardeners have to make sure that the young fruit is positioned deep into the bottle, to prevent it from growing in the neck of the bottle. They also have to attach the bottle to the tree at an angle, for moisture and creepy crawlies to escape.
Oom Anton regularly checks the bottles and plucks them when the pears are sun-ripened, but still have enough space around the fruit to fill with mampoer. In the cellar, we carefully clean out the bottle, the full fruit still intact inside, and fill it with a house-distilled mampoer – a local spirit made from Packham pear juice. It stands for a bit before we can give it a taste – a wonderful delicacy!
This past year, we’ve applied the same treatment to a select few lemons that show promise. Once they’ve ripened and are fully grown, we’ll fill the bottle with limoncello. Bellissimo!
Here’s how it’s done. Watch.