When someone gives you a bag of freshly picked pears, one thing you can to do is make preserved pears! Canning pears is an easy way to preserve the fruit for later enjoyment when the pears are at their ripest.
Neighborly Sharing Means Canning
The benefit of having fruit trees is that when they produce, they really produce. One day you'll be looking longingly at the tree, the next day you can't keep up with the box loads of fruit coming off of it.
So what you do is share.
I'll give you a big bag of Granny Smiths if you give me a big bag of fuyus. We sent Hank home the other day with some pomegranates and he showed up a few days later with a bag of Bartlett pears from his tree.
A bag of fruit is a lot to get through before they spoil. Canning pears isn't difficult, and a great solution for fruit overload.
How to Can Pears
In the case of Hank's beautiful pears, I decided to simply can them, in a light sugar syrup, with a few pear-loving spices thrown in for good measure. Canning pears is an easy way to preserve the fruit for later enjoyment when the pears are at their ripest.
For these canned pears, I'm using a light syrup ratio of a cup of sugar to a quart of water. You could also use apple juice or white grape juice as your canning liquid. You could even use water, though a lightly sugared solution will help the fruit retain its color for storage longer than a few weeks.
For spices, I used cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon, because I know these spices complement the flavor of the pears. You could use nutmeg or vanilla as well.
5 to 6 pounds Bartlett pears
1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
2 cups sugar
2 quarts water
2 whole star anise pods
4 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
- 1 (12 or 16-quart) stock pot
- Steaming rack (to fit in pot)
- 3 to 4 quart canning jars or 6 to 8 pint canning jars
- New lids for canning jars
- Canning tongs
Set up the canning equipment:
Set up a large (12-quart if you are using pint jars, 16-quart if you are using quart jars) stock pot with a rack at the bottom (we use a steaming rack) so that the jars don't touch the bottom of the pan. Fill with enough hot water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch and put on the stove to bring to a boil.
Wash the lids in hot, soapy water.
While the water is heating, proceed with the recipe.
If you plan to freeze or refrigerate your canned pears you can skip this step.
Prepare the pears:
Peel, core, and quarter the pears. Add them to a bowl of cold water that has been acidified with lemon juice or citric acid (you can even use the contents of a vitamin C capsule), to help prevent discoloration of the pears from oxidation.
Boil the water with sugar and spices:
In a large (5 or 6 quart) pot, add the sugar, water, and spices. Bring to a boil.
Add the pears:
Transfer the pear quarters from their lemon solution to the boiling sugar water. Let come to a boil again and cook for 5 minutes.
Pack the jars with the pears:
Using canning tongs, remove the jars from the water bath. Pour the water inside them back into the stock pot.
Pack your canning jars with the pears. Pour the remaining syrup over the pears to cover, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom from the tops of the jars. Wipe the rims with a paper towel. Put on the lids and screw the bands on fingertip-tight.
Process in the water bath:
Lower the filled jars back into the water bath, making sure the water covers them by at least 1 inch. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 20 minutes
Remove from the water bath and set on a clean kitchen towel on the counter. Let cool.
Sealed jars will keep at room temperature at least 1 year, but are best consumed within 12 months.
If you did not process the jars in a water bath, they will keep for about 1 month in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 51g||19%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||19%|
|Total Sugars 42g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||37%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|