Choose very large pears that are not overripe. Peel them and toss them immediately into cold water to prevent them from darkening from the knife. Wash the peeled skins, cover them with water, add at least ten quartered pears (but not those that are intended for the confections), and cook over a high flame. After the water has sweetened and has become infused with the flavor of pears, add the pears intended for preserving. Cook them until they can be easily pierced with a straw, but do not overcook or let them fall apart. Drain the pears in a sieve, let them dry, and sprinkle them with sugar. Arrange the fruit with the stem end upward on a dripping pan covered with straw. Set in a summer oven for the fruit to firm, but do not let it dry out. Meanwhile, add
*Smokva is usually translated as fig, but
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