Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bottled Pears

My canning adventures for this year aren't over yet! I just finished bottling pears this morning. We LOVE pears. Oh, yumminess... Here is how I do them.

Start with nice, ripe pears. I haven't given an amount of pears because -- if you're like me -- you can whatever amount of pears you want. This recipe is so easy you can adjust it to fit a small batch of 6 or 8 pears, or an entire 40 lb. box like I did.

Put a small pot of water to simmer on the stove top and put the lids in to simmer on a medium heat. Start heating the water in your big pot where you will process the jars so it can begin to boil. Be sure your jars are cleaned and ready to go, and keep them in hot water so they are nice and piping hot when ready to use.

Using a potato peeler, peel off the skin. Cut lengthwise in half, then use a melon baller or measuring spoon to scoop out the inner section with the seeds, the stem, and the section of the stem that extends into the pear. You'll see it when you cut the pear in half.

I put a skillet or bowl on the counter and fill it with water, then squeeze a lemon into it. This liquid is where you'll place the pears after you've peeled and cored them -- it keeps them from browning.

Prepare a very light, light, or medium syrup or pack pears in apple juice, white grape juice, or water. I chose to use a light syrup.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
Mix the two together in a pot and stir them over a medium-low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase your heat to high and bring this mixture to a boil. I usually start my sugar syrup when I'm about halfway finished with preparing my pears. The syrup will be boiling by the time I'm finished and ready for it.

Raw packs make poor quality pears - you need to cook your pears a bit. When the sugar syrup boils, put your prepared pears into it and bring it back to the boil. This won't take long -- and boil the pears for a few minutes in the syrup.

Remove your HOT jars, and carefully pack them with the hot pears. I use a slotted spoon to remove them from the hot syrup.

Using a funnel, pour the boiling sugar syrup over the pears. Make sure that the pears are fully covered by the sugar syrup, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Clean the rim of your jars well and then place a lid on top of it. Screw your bands onto the jar. Lower the hot fruit-filled jars into the hot water in your water bath processor pot. Bring to a boil.

Again, processing instructions and times vary depending on the elevation you live at. You can use the table on this website to see how long you should process your pears. I processed mine for 35 minutes. Start timing after the water comes to a full boil.

My latest batch is sitting on the counter top. I love how they look; bottled pears are SO pretty.

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