I have been lucky to have this great neighbor teach me how to can pears. She is about 80 and I’m sure has canned for 50 years. I didn’t call her this year and ask her how, since she’d already taught me the basics. I sure missed her company and expertise this year!
Here are some of the things I’ve learned the past three years I’ve canned pears….
1-Bartlett pears are the best to can with.
2-You should pick them green and let them ripen in your house.
3-Don’t try to can them if they are even a little bit green
4-And try not to let them get too soft.
Equipment needed: A water bath with a wire rack, lid lifter, glass jars and lids.
I soak my pears in the sink and then peel them with a good knife, (a regular peeler works great too) then I cut them in half and cut out the core. Then I put it in a bowl that I’ve filled with water and Fruit Fresh (a must! to ensure that your fruit doesn’t brown) When I’ve filled the bowl with a lot of pear halves-I put them into the clean warm jars. I put them face down (core side on the bottom) and fill up the jar. I try not to let any of it go past the neck of the jar.
Another must is Ball’s Blue Book. Another one of my awesome “seasoned” canning neighbors got this for me for my birthday one year. I LOVE it!! (thanks, Kelly) It has tips on any kind of troubleshooting, recipes and canning tips. I refer to it often.
I make the syrup the book recommends with hot water and sugar and after the jars are filled with fruit, I add the syrup leaving 1/2 in head space. I use a stick and make sure all the water pockets are gone, I wipe the rim of the jars off and place the lids and bands on the jars and make sure they are on tight.
They are ready to go! Meanwhile I have filled up the water bath and have had it boiling and ready for the cans (don’t fill it too full-the jars will take up a lot of space). I place all the jars in the wire rack and then lower it down. Cook for 25 minutes and then move it off the burner. BE CAREFUL! 🙂 Remove the bottles and place on a towel. If they don’t seal right away you can turn them upside down and usually that will do the trick! When they are totally cool, I use a Sharpe and write the month and year on them. Enjoy!