Canning pears

I recently made a trip up to my parent's place to pick pumpkins and spend the day hanging out.  Once we were up there, we also decided to pick some pears.  My dad had a couple pear trees that were loaded up so we brought home a few grocery bags full.

For the next few days, the family ate plenty of fresh pears.  On top of the pears, we also had our own apple trees giving off apples plus a guy I know from my work offered to give me a few bags of his apples.  Isn't it great knowing good people?

Needless to say, we were eating pretty good for a few days but enjoying the fresh produce wasn't going to last.  If any of you have had 4 bags of pears plus 3 bags of apples plus tomatoes in your garage in September, you start to make friends fast.  I am not talking about noisy neighbors either...

The fruit flies were starting to come on in droves.  So with the crisper full in the refrigerator, we started to think of ways to preserving the fruit we had.  I am not a big fan of wasting anything especially fruit that has been grown or given to me so we had to do something.

One of the things that I have never done before was canning pears so I decided we would can a bag to see how they turned out.  Up until a few weeks ago, I had only preserved pears by dehydrating them so I was up for a new challenge.

So how did it go?  I was happy with the way the canned pears came out.  My wife and I looked in our ball canning book and picked out a recipe that had some honey and different ingredients in it.  I would like to point this part out as important because we were using the water bath method so you need an approved recipe.  Botulism does not sound like fun!

Anyhow, after we picked out our recipe we were ready to get to work.  My wife and I enlisted the help of our daughter and two year old son so we were more than ready.  Although my son ate more pears than he canned! 

To start, we peeled the pears which was the worse part.  Peeling the pears was very time consuming but luckily my wife volunteered for this portion.  She started with a knife as her preferred method but eventually went with a carrot peeler.  She said the carrot peeler worked pretty well.

After the pears were peeled, I sliced them into small slices.  You can slice your pears however you like but we went with 4 slices for each pear.  Once the pears were sliced, we started making the mix.  This should actually be started earlier so it is ready once the pears are sliced but we wanted to make sure we had our full attention turned to the boiling mixture with having the kids around.

Once the mixture was boiling, we packed the jars and poured the mix over the pears.  We made sure that we left enough space at the top per the Ball instructions and then put on the seals and caps.  Make sure to use new seals!  .

Once the jars were sealed and capped, we put the jars into our water-bath that was starting to come to a boil.  After the jars of pears were inserted in the water-bath, we let it do its thing for the recommended time per our instructions.

Once the jars were in the water-bath for the right amount of time, we pulled the jars out to sit.  We let them sit for 24 hours per the instructions but the seals popped within 5 minutes.  This is another important part to mention. 

Do not store any cans that did not "pop" on the shelf.  Supposedly you can try these again but you are better off sticking them in the fridge for immediate consumption.  Like I said, botulism does not sound fun!

Canning pears was definitely a good experience and one I will try again next year.  My whole family had fun doing this activity and the results were tasty.  We were able to make pears for the family to consume over the winter.  We even gave a couple to the friend who gave me the apples.  In return, he gave me some squash.  He is still one up on me!

Some pics from our "fun day" as my daughter calls it.

filling up the water-bath
The mixture ready to go
Sliced pears
Filling the jars
The finished product!

Have fun!

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