Our pear tree was full of fruit that we just couldn't eat fast enough, so as with the tomatoes, I thought I should can some to enjoy throughout the year. I've only canned pears once about 7 years ago, so I didn't really know what I was doing at first. As with all canning, it definitely took time and I made a big mess, but it really was easy!
- 2-3 lbs pears per quart
- quart size canning jars
- lids and screw tops
- citric acid
Wash pears; drain. Cut into quarters or halves; core and peel. Treat to prevent darkening.
Make a light syrup*; keep syrup hot. Drain pears. Cook pears one layer at a time in syrup (or boiling water) 5-6 minutes or until hot throughout. Pack hot pears into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over pears, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps.
Process pints 20 minutes, quarts 25 minutes, in a boiling-water bath canner (remember to start the timer after the water has started boiling).
Note: Pears should be harvested when full grown and stored in a cool place (60°-65°F) until ripe but not soft. Bartlett pears are considered best for canning. Kieffer pears and similar varieties are satisfactory if properly ripened and cooked in water until almost tender. Pack in sugar syrup, juice, or water.
* Syrup for Canning (I used Extra-Light):
- Extra-Light Syrup (20% sugar) - 1-1/4 cups sugar + 5-1/2 cups water = 6 cups syrup
- Light Syrup (30% sugar) - 2-1/4 cups sugar + 5-1/4 cups water = 6-1/2 cups syrup
- Medium Syrup (40% sugar) - 3-1/4 cups sugar + 5 cups water = 7 cups syrup
- Heavy Syrup (50% sugar) - 4-1/4 cups sugar + 4-1/4 cups water = 7 cups syrup
(recipe courtesy of Ball Blue Book)