Sunday, August 24, 2014


You may recall that one of the things I did last weekend was pick the pears from my pear tree...
Before the Harvest

Harvested Pears
... and even though I hadn’t planned on it, today I canned (some of) my pears.  Yesterday afternoon I decided to try one out and surprise, surprise – it was ripe enough to eat – which means that it was almost too ripe to can!


That meant I had to jump into action this morning and get moving on processing my pears – if, unlike last year, I wanted to can any for winter consumption.  Last year I left things too late and ended up eating maybe three of them and then composting the rest of them. 

So this year I was determined to catch them in time!

With the help of the Simply Canning website, I pulled my act together last night and got a plan in motion.  This morning I leapt (well, more like trudged) into action.  First up was to get the kitchen ready for my efforts.

Everything Out of the Cupboards and Onto the Counters...
Next up was to make up a citric acid bath for the pears to keep them bright - my version was lemon juice and water since I am trying to be as sugar and chemical free as possible.

4 Cups Water to 1 Cup Lemon Juice 
Then to make light syrup.  While I am trying to keep things as sugar free as possible, I recognise that the syrup is something that helps to keep the fruit tasty and preserved… so I opted to try the honey and vanilla option that the Simply Canning site listed… so mine was a dark honey with water and about a teaspoon of vanilla.

Light Syrup

Bringing the Syrup to the Boil

Peel, core and cut up the pears… this happens to be the most time consuming part of the process, and the one that leaves my hands sore and sometimes blistered when done…

First Batch

The pears then go into the syrup to be partially cooked… from there, into the canning jars with just enough of the syrup to cover the fruit, and then into the water-bath canner.

5 Minutes in the Syrup

When all is said and done, I have 16 jars of pears and a now nice and tidy kitchen.

Half Way Done

16 Jars Cooling

Dishes Done!
I find that as I continue my food processing journey I am learning important things – including that I much prefer to work with wide mouth mason jars as opposed to small mouth ones. Not only is it easier to get the larger fruits in and out of without making as much of a mess, when doing sauces, it is easier to get ALL of the sauce out of them.  I do have a couple of flats of small mouth jars that I will continue to use for my applesauce efforts, but solid fruits – pears and peaches especially – are MUCH easier for me to manage in the wide mouth jars… which means that, before I process the peaches that are coming in this week, I need to get my hands on more canning jars!

I do still have some pears left to work with, but with these I will be attempting pear butter… which to me looks like a sort of a preserve that would be good on crumpets (which I plan to learn how to make this winter) and ice cream.

The pear butter exploits will be documented later…

With love across the waters…

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