How To Can Pears ~ Low-Sugar Canning Success!

Fresh Pears

We were given a bag of pears, fresh off the tree. Awesome! Right?! Yes. I thought so, as I love eating fresh pears. I simply had to wait for them to ripen. And then… Game on!!!

Unfortunately, after several days, the only thing softening on them were the bruises. Well, darn it. I had no idea they had been bruised so badly. Sigh. Then I remembered my grandson proudly telling me how he had “beaten the tree with a stick so they could pick up the pears that fell to the ground”. With this recollection it became evident that my beloved “innocent” little grandsons had literally beat these pears out of the tree. Oh my. We need to have a talk! Lol!

Meanwhile, I hit the internet to find ways to preserve bruised pears to enjoy later. We’re not big on eating “sweets”. So, a lot of the recipes for preserves, fruit fillings, and such simply weren’t appealing. Then I came across a few sites that covered canning fresh, uncooked pears with moderate amounts. This sounded exactly like what we were looking for! And, I could easily reduce the amount of sugar to prevent them from become too “sweetened”. Better yet, my estimations were correct and we have perfectly canned fresh pears that are not too sweet. Yes!

So…. Here’s what I did:

First wash the pears and cut away any bruised areas. I like the pear skins, but feel free to peal the pears first if you prefer them canned without the skin.

Then simply cut away slices of pears into a large bowl, or directly into clean canning jars. Cut away all the pear flesh until you reach the core. I was able to fill seven pint sized jars.

Then boil water and add 1/3 cup of sugar per cup of water. Once the sugar is melted, simply pour directly over the sliced peaches in each jar. If you run out of sugar water, simply boil up some more. I ultimately boiled about 6 cups of water, which left me with bit extra water after filling the 7 pint sized jars.

(Optional: you can add dehydrated orange or lemon slices, or lemon or lime juice. This adds a little extra something to the flavor. Also, the citric acid acts as a natural preservative. Although, not pictured, I did add about a tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar before adding the sugar water.)

Clean the jar rims, then add both portions of the canning lids. Twist until snug, do not over-tighten the lids.

We used the “water bath” canning method for our pears. Therefore, we boiled water in our canning pot with rack, then placed each jar gently into the pot with tongs.

(These were not the best tongs to use. We have since bought actual canning tongs to use in the future.)

After placing all jars in the boiling water, insure the water covers the jars by one to two inches. Return water to a boil. Continue at a slow boil for 15-20 minutes. Then remove from heat.

(You can check out a detailed step by step process for water bath canning here. They definitely know more of the intricacies of the canning process.)

Using tongs, carefully remove the jars to a cooling rack or a thick towel. Be sure to keep the jars vertical in the transfer process.

Allow jars to completely cool (up to 24 hours). They will self “seal” during the cool down process. You might even hear the ping of the metal as the lid inverts!

Once cooled, if sealed, the center of the lid will have inverted inward. So, be sure to check each lid to ensure each jar sealed properly.

If there’s any concern, do not store them at room temperature, as they may not be properly “canned”. Refrigerate any suspect jars and consume them at your earliest convenience.

Properly canned pears can be stored in a dark, cool place like your pantry for up to a year. Therefore, be sure to note the date of canning on the lids.

And there you go! You have now successfully canned fresh pears!



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