Country Living Series

Monday, November 1, 2010

Canning pears

A woman from our church brought in boxes of pears from her tree and begged everyone to help himself.  I asked her if I could take whatever was left over, for canning (then nearly staggered back as she shoved the box into my arms, LOL).  She told everyone she didn't want to bring one single pear home.  Guess she was sick of pears.

These are little brown Bosc (I think) pears, very sweet.

It was a family project to get them all peeled and cored.  Messy, but a nice time for talking.

Washing jars.

Making syrup.  It's a two-to-one ratio, water-to-sugar, for thin syrup (which is what I prefer to use).  Let the syrup come to a boil.

I took batches of pears and rinsed them...

...then packed them into clean pint jars.

Pouring syrup over the pears.

Wiping the rims.  This is important for two reasons: one, the syrup is sticky and it removes the stickiness; and two, you can feel for any chips in the rims at this stage.  In fact, two pint jars had minute chips in the rims, so I combined them into one quart jar.

I ended up with one quart and fifteen pints of pears.

Scalding my Tattler lids and rings.

On with the lids.

Remember, when canning you need to use one of these gizmos so the jars don't rest directly on the bottom of the pot (which can increase breakage in jars).

My biggest pots held nine jars in one, seven jars in the other.  Pears can be water-bath canned (as opposed to pressure canned), 30 minutes for quarts and 25 minutes for pints.

As soon as Tattler lids come out of the canner, they need to be tightened.  Here's the loot for the day.


  1. Save the Canning JarsNovember 1, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    The wealth is in the scraps!

  2. I've just fallen in love with canning, and want some of those Tattler lids! You might consider looking into a steam canner; it uses considerably less water (only 6-8 cups of water will process for over an hour) so it doesn't weigh as much and doesn't take as long to heat up. I love mine :D

  3. What a deal for you guys! I have never heard of Pear Pie, have you? I guess pears get too mushy in a pie? I have used leftover pears (just a few) in holiday breads (like pumpkin) and spice cakes though. They add a lot of flavor and make the bread/cake extra moist. I've mashed and added them to pancakes before too stretch the recipe. Canned fruit is so versatile!

  4. Canned pears - a very nice treat during the winter. So nice that the canning process was a family task.

    Anonymous Patriot

  5. Sorry Patrice, but I agree with the woman running horses. Pears are great for flavoring but would not make a decent pie. Oops sorry, I guess you never mentioned pie. I don't know what their nutritional value is but I'm guessing it is mediocre at best. DEMOCRATS LOSE TOMORROW! Sorry, I guess that the mediocre talk inspired that outburst.

  6. I love canned pears, right out of the jar, or added to a fruit salad.

    This brings up a question though. I canned some nectarines over the summer and thought I did a good job packing them into my jars. Well, they've been on the shelf for a couple of months now and I can see they have shrunk by about 1/3. Is that normal for soft flesh fruit? is there a way to prevent it, it is that just what happens? I used the same method you used for your pears (light syrup & water bath). Thanks :)

  7. Ok, kids...I'm really canning stupid, so bear with the stupid question. You're boiling the jars with the lids on tightly, right? Otherwise water would get into the jar and screw up what you've put in there. How come they don't explode with all the pressure that builds up in the jar?

  8. Hi. I read your blog regularly so checked past posts about canning. I am canning for the very first time. My post is for canning, is large and will hold seven quart jars. MY WATER WON'T BOIL! Yikes! Now what????? The stove burner has been on high for two hours!! My apricots will be mush at this rate! Help!

  9. Brenda, the only reason I can imagine water wouldn't boil is because you're at too high an altitude. But since most people don't live at 10,000+ feet in elevation, I can't even begin to fathom what the problem might be. I mean, given sufficient heat, water MUST boil. That's just a physical fact, right?

    Do you have a lid on your canner? Assuming you do, then I don't know why your water won't boil. Why don't you try contacting your local County Extension Service and ask to speak to a Master Food Preserver -- they might be able to help you out.

    Good luck!

    - Patrice

  10. Thanks for your response. I live in California, pretty close to sea level. I did have a lid on the canner and it did eventually boil but it to almost two hours to get up to temperature! My stove top is old and my husband said the same thing, not enough heat. Ironically, I have a fancy, expensive oven in the garage just waiting for our kitchen remodel that we now can't afford!