Preserved Pears

CanningPear

Preserved Pears! How to can pears in a light simple syrup with star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon. Canning pears is the solution to a generous harvest.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Canning Pears

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.

Three Jars of Canning Pears

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.

Preserved Pears Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 3 to 4 quarts

If you plan on canning pears for shelf (non-refrigerated storage), sterilize your jars by either placing them in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes or in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Once the jars are filled with pears, you'll want to process in a water bath as well. You'll need 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 three-quarters of the way with hot water and put on the stove to bring to a boil. While the water is heating proceed with the recipe.

If you plan to freeze or refrigerate your canned pears you can skip this step.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pounds Bartlett pears
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Special equipment:

  • 3 to 4 quart-sized canning jars or 6-8 pint jars

Method

1 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 (can use the contents of a vitamin C capsule), to help prevent discoloration of the pears from oxidation.

2 Boil water with sugar and spices: In a large (5 or 6 quart) pot, add the sugar, water, and spices. Bring to a boil.

3 Add pears: Transfer the pear quarters from their lemon solution to the boiling sugar water. Let come to a boil again, cook for 5 minutes.

4 Pack the jars with pears: 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.

5 Water bath: If you're canning pears for long term shelf storage (up to a year), place in a water bath for 20 minutes.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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53 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. S j

    I’ve tried this recipe.the pears were still a little hard I thought.i don’t know if they soften in the jar.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Kay

    For health reasons I am staying away from sugar and substitutes. So if I make this with just water and the spices, would a cranberries or cherries be ok to add for flavor and color? I have a full Kieffer tree full of pears.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Kirsty

    If I prepare the pears and syrup and fill Kilner jars and put in the fridge (so don’t process jars in water bath), how long will they last please?

  4. Sarah

    I combined this recipe with another and added 2 Tbsp of whiskey (Bushmills) to top up each quart after the pears and syrup were put in. Wow, what a special treat and delicious over ice cream! As per my personal preference, I also cut the sugar in half and substituted cloves for the star anise. This variation was such a roaring success that this year I’m trying something similar with the crab apples from our tree.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Norma

    I remember my mother placing a few slices of lemon in with the pears to be cooked. I’ve found a recipe, but it says the cooked pears must sit in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. I know that my mother never did this, and the one time I made pear preserves I did not either. Processing for 20 minutes should make the pear preserves with lemon slices safe for a reasonable span of time. I simply am questioning why cooked pears need to be in refrigerator for any length of time.

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