Home Maid Simple: Canning Pears how to

Friday, September 30, 2011

Canning Pears how to


Tis the season for canning! Normally I head to my mom's for a weekend and do some canning with her. This year it didn't work out that way.  I bought 40lbs of pears from The Pear Guy through our church. I was very excited to get down to Nana's and start canning them. I waited a week, and my pears were still very very hard! You can't can hard pears. So I came back home. Wednesday night I finally found the time after kids were in bed to start canning. I have NEVER canned on my own before and I was very nervous about it. So I will now share with you the simple steps I took in canning my pears.

  • Start with the syrup.  For 8 qts I had to make 2 batches of the syrup.  For 1 batch heat 6 cups water and slowly add 3 cups sugar stirring until dissolved.  Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to keep it warm, but not boiling. This makes a medium syrup. 

  • Now you need to get your jars ready. If you have a dishwasher, wash the jars and the rings now. If you are like me and do not have a dishwasher, fill you sink with the hottest water you have and set the jars and rings inside.
  • Now to peel your pears. This can be done 1 of 2 ways (or mix it up if you wish).  I boiled a large pot of water, and dipped my pears into it for a few seconds. Then I placed the pears into a bowl of ice to avoid burning myself while peeling them. The skin mostly comes right off, but be warned, it is extremely messy, and the fruit just under the pear will also be very soft.  You can also just use a paring knife and peel like you would an apple. This will also take off some of the pear, but it works. 
  • Slice the pears lengthwise in quarters, and slice out the core. 

  • I dry packed my pears, but you can also hot pack them which is the recommended way.  To dry pack or raw pack just start stuffing the pears in the hot jars. Once they are full pour in your syrup leaving about a 1/2 inch at the top. Slide a butter knife down the side of the jar and press on the pears to release any trapped air.
  • Now your flat lids you need to boil for a minute or two, I just tossed them in my sink of hot water while I packed in the pears.
  • Wipe the rims of the jars, add the lids, and screw on the rings. You are now ready to process them!
  • Process in a water bath, according to your altitude. Here in utah, I processed them for 25 minutes. Then set them on a thick towel to dry and seal. Once they are cool, press on the lids to see if they pop up. If they don't pop up you have successfully canned some pears, Congratulations! I personally felt lucky when despite my inexperience, all 8 quarts sealed.  Any jar that has not sealed, you can stick in the fridge to eat that week.

A few things I learned a long the way. Having an actual canner made for water bathing is very useful. I used a tall pan, with a metal plate inside to keep the jars off the bottom. A couple of my jars tilted sideways, and some of the syrup boiled out.
Foil floats. I tried putting foil in the bottom of the water bath to help stablize the jars and keep them from touching each other and the sides of the pan, but foil floats.
Hot packing helps get more air out of the pears. Once my jars were processed and sealed, I noticed a good inch of syrup on the bottom of the jar before the pears started. My pears are floating, most likely because there is air inside the pears. Next time I will hot pack.
Canning is fun, and was worth the little sleep I got Wednesday night.  

Come back tomorrow for a lesson on canning home made grape juice!!

I apologize for lack of pictures. My camera has gone missing :(  Hopefully I find it before I start on these grapes.

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