If you have never had the opportunity to taste home canned pears, then you have definitely missed out! Canned pears were a favorite of mine growing up, and to this day still rank very high on my list of canned fruit.
Canning pears is fairly simple, and with a few basic supplies you will soon be looking proudly on your pantry lined with fruit that you have preserved yourself.
Tools You Need
- Canner – This is a large pot, with a rack inside to hold your jars. Like this one
- Jars & Lids – For our family I can our pears in 1 litre wide mouth jars, however if there are only 1 or 2 of you, the 500 ml jars would be perfect. Again you can get jars at the same stores that you would get your canner from. There are a few different brands of jars, but they are all basically the same as far as functionality goes. The main thing you want to think about with the jars is jar size, as well as the mouth/lid size. I prefer to use the wide mouth, despite the fact that they are a little more costly, they are just a little more user friendly, and since I consider my jars to be an investment to last me a long time, I want to choose ones that I love.
- Funnel – There are funnels that are made just the right size for jars, and they certainly make getting your fruit cleanly into the jar much easier.
- Liquid & Dry Measuring cups
- Oven Mitts
- Cutting Board & Knife
- Lemon Juice
How to Can Pears
This is how our family cans pears, I am sure that there are many other recipes and methods out there, this is just what works for us.
- Sterilize your jars & lids – For your jars you can run them through the sterilize cycle on your dishwasher, boil them, or bake them in the oven… any way works. For the lids, place them in a pot of boiling water on the stove
- Cut your pears – Cut your pears, removing the core. You can cut them in quarters, eights, or whatever size suits you best. You may wish to peel your pears, I have canned them with and without the peels, and since my family enjoyed them equally either way, I just skip that step and save myself a bit of time :). As you cut your pears, drop them directly into your jars.
- Add Syrup – I use a light syrup, which is 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water, however, you can use more or less sugar depending on your own taste. I also like to add a teaspoon or 2 of lemon juice to preserve the colour of my fruit. Mix your syrup in advance, and as you fill each jar with fruit, you can add your liquid immediately, so as to not allow the fruit to brown. Fill your jar to 1/2 inch below the rim.
- Optional Add ins – Pears canned with a clove or 2 in each jar are delicious, or you can add a bit of vanilla to some.
- Put a Lid on It – Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth, then place your hot lid on, screwing the ring on so that it is hand tight
- Boil it – Fill your canner about half full with water, and bring it to a boil. When your jars are full and ready, place them on the rack, and lower the rack into the water, the water should come between 1 inch below the top of the jar to 2 inches above. When your water returns to a rolling boil, set your timer for 25 minutes, and keep it boiling for the full 25 minutes.
- Cool it – When the time is up, carefully lift the rack out of the water, and remove the jars, being careful to keep them upright. Place your jars on the counter to cool.
- Check the Seal – Once your jars have cooled completely (usually the next morning for me) check each lid to be sure that the centre has “popped” down. This is how you will know if your jar is sealed and ready to put on the shelf. If there are any that are not sealed, you can store them in the fridge to be eaten over the next few days.
That’s it! That’s all there is too it! Now you can sit back and smile at your shelf lined with beautiful jars of pears and know that you will be eating well this winter!