Oh, to bring back the days of sweet, crunchy pears! What memories of delicious fruit we would have forever!
We cannot bring them back, but we can prolong those days by helping the harvest last longer, by canning those pears.
If you are coming into the lovely problem of too many pears, here is how we deal with them–mmm!
1. Core and remove stems, but do not peel pears. Remove bad spots. Drop into 1 gallon water with 1 vitamin C tablet crushed in it.
2. Drain pears. Bring to boil in non-reactive pan (stainless steel or enamel) over medium heat with 1/2″ fresh water in covered pan.
3. Allow pears in water to simmer, stirring, until fruit is soft, adding water if necessary, to prevent scorching.
4. Mash pears or press through colander.
5. Return pulp to pan and season to taste with brown sugar, and if desired, cinnamon.
6. Reheat until simmering and hold at simmering for a few minutes. Keep at simmering, stirring, during entire process. Add water if needed.
7. Meanwhile, estimate number of pint or smaller canning jars you will need to contain all the pear butter. Wash carefully and rinse these jars. Count the same number of canning lids (flats) and heat in small saucepan of water as directed on box. Set aside and keep hot. Be sure to have one screw band for each lid. Lay one or two jars down in another large pan with 2″ water in it. Cover and bring to boil. Bring to boil another covered pan large enough to hold all the jars at once, with water enough to cover all the jars and rack in bottom of pan to keep jars from direct contact with bottom. (This pan should be a bit larger than your largest burner, and at leat 16″ tall, like a spaghetti boiler. The perfect pan is often called a “water bath canner”. If you lack a lid, a pizza pan works fine.)
8. Using jar lifter, carefully remove one jar from boiling water, emptying into boiling pan, and set it upright onto thick towelling.
9. Using canning funnel and long-handled measuring cup, carefully ladle simmering pear sauce into jar, within 1/2″ of top. Wipe rim clean and dry. Remove flat from hot water with tines of fork. Apply flat and screw band to filled jar, using thick towel to protect hands from heat. Use jar lifter to set lidded jar into tall pan of boiling water.
10. Repeat until all sauce is in jars, in boiling water bath. Time boiling from this time, for 15 minutes. Remove jars and set on clean, DRY towelling. Cover with light towel and allow to cool away from drafts. Do not disturb until completely cooled.
11. Remove screw bands from all sealed jars. (Sealed jars will be indented on top.) Place any unsealed jars in refrigerator and use very soon. Place all others in cool, dark place to keep for at least a year and use whenever you miss those crunchy pears!
We use this in place of jam on buttered toast.
Sometimes I only add white sugar and no spices to this recipe and we eat it like applesauce. Sometimes the pears are so sweet, I skip the sugar, too.
It’s all good!
I do hope these directions were clear. I ‘d be happy to answer all questions here. Remember, the only dumb question is the unspoken one! 🙂