To expedite the pear ripening process, place them in a fruit bowl with other items, such as bananas and apples. These fruits give off a chemical known as ethylene that speeds up the process.
An even quicker way to ripen pears is to place them into a brown paper bag with the other fruits. To determine if a pear is ripe, press a finger into the top of it. If the finger slightly goes into the fruit, it is ripe and good for immediate consumption. If the finger slightly goes into other parts of the fruit, it is beyond ripe. These pears are good for use in baking and in smoothies.