Top Tips for Canning Pears
Canning pears is one way to extend pear season in the home so that you can enjoy the delicious taste of pears year round. It is not hard at all to begin canning pears. The first thing to do is to select ripe pears. Pears are always picked and sent to market green. So, unlike other fruits, such as peaches, it is possible to buy your pears and ripen them at home. For canning pears, do not use pears that are bruised or damaged, too hard or too soft. Select fresh, ripe fruit that is just the way you would want it to be for eating.
Every canner that holds seven quart jars is going to need 17-½ pounds of pears. If you buy a bushel of pears, you should be able to can between sixteen and twenty-five quarts of pairs. A bushel weighs fifty pounds.
Pears do not do well when canned using raw pack methods. The best thing to do when canning pears is to pack them into jars with either sugar and water or fruit juice. Even a light sugar syrup can help preserve the shape and taste of the pears. It also keeps them looking pear-colored. Other options are apple juice or white grape juice. If you are watching your sugar intake, you can also combine water and artificial sweeteners, but not every type. For instance, sweeteners containing aspartame should not be used for canning.
If you choose to pack your pears in sugar syrup, here are the ratios: light syrup needs two cups sugar to six cups water and makes seven cups, medium needs three cups sugar to six cups water and produces six and one-half cups liquid, heavy contains four cups sugar to six cups sugar and makes seven cups sugar syrup. Just heat the water in a pot and then add sugar, bringing water to a boil.
Get your pears ready to can by washing and peeling them. Next, cut each one down the center into two halves and remove core and seeds. If you sprinkle lemon juice or citric acid on the pears, it will help them not turn brown in the canning process. Put your pears into the gently boiling sugar syrup for five minutes. Then pour the pears and syrup into your sterilized canning jars for processing. Leave at least one-half inch of space in the jar. Take a rubber spatula and run it around the inside circumference of the jar. This gets rid of air bubbles. Make sure lids and screw tops are secure before placing them in the boiling water bath.
Follow the instructions that came with your canner for the amount of time needed and the steps in using your canner. Time changes with elevation. It is never under twenty minutes. Once jars have been sealed in the canner, let them cool, and then store in a cool, dry place. Pears may still change color in processing and become varying shades of yellow or pinkish. This is fine! When you open your pear jars in mid-winter, you will be so happy that you took the time to can some summer fruit. Nothing beats the delicious taste of pears in January!