Learn how to can pears the easy way… as in no peeling involved. Okay, well technically, no peeling with a knife involved and you can peel a whole bunch of pears at once in 15 seconds.
Are you ready for this?
This time of year is super busy with all of our canning on, but we depend upon our jars of home canned goodness to feed us during the winter months when fresh fruit isn’t just growing on the bush right outside my door.
However, that can make finding the time to fit in all the canning a bit hard to do. So when I find a trick that can speed things up, you can bet I’ll share it with ya.
Depending upon the size of your pears, you’ll want about 3 to 4 medium to fill one quart sized jar.
Bartlett pears are a great variety, but any pear will do, EXCEPT Asian pears. They’re not acidic enough on their own to can, so you must add 1 Tablespoon of bottled lemon juice per pint or 2 Tablespoons of bottled lemon juice per quart jars in order to can Asian pears safely at home.
Remember that super duper easy trick on peeling I promised. Here it is. You can peel pears the exact same way as you peel tomatoes and peaches, by blanching them. Hello, I just rocked your pear loving world, didn’t I?1.Take a big old pot of boiling water and submerge your pears for 15 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove those bad boys into a bowl of warm water. (I toss my 1/4 cup of bottled lemon juice into the warm water and use it for storing the pears once peeled and cored as well). The lemon juice helps them from turning brown and is purely for looks in this instance.2. Next, simply rub off the peel of the pear. Seriously, the skin slides off. No knife and no peeler needed. Way cool, huh? If you happen to not get a side of the pear in the boiling water, just take the back of a spoon and scrape it off.
Now the only time you need your knife is to cut the pear in half. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds and core. Let the peeled and cored pear half go swimming back in the water with lemon juice while it waits for the rest of the pear family.
Prepare your water bath canner (fill with water deep enough to cover the jars, place the wrack in it, and begin heating the water). Wash jars in hot soapy water, rinse, and place on a folded towel near the hot syrup and stove top.
You may can pears in just water, unsweetened apple juice, or light or medium syrup. If you choose to can fruits with just water, you need to use a hot pack method. However, when canning pears, you want to use a hot pack method anyways to get the best quality end product. I don’t know about you, but I want the best tasting food at the end, so taking the 5 minutes to do a hot pack and have amazing home canned pears is totally worth it.
I prefer to use a light syrup.
In a large stainless steel pot mix 5 and 3/4 cup water with 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved and heat over medium low heat to almost a boil. Place the pears into the hot syrup in a single layer and let heat through for about 5 minutes.
Fill your jar (wide mouth is the easiest to use for packing) with the hot pear using a slotted spoon to a generous 1/2 inch head space. Then using a ladle and canning funnel, pour the hot syrup over the pears to a 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and double check your head spaced, adding more syrup if needed.
Wipe the rim of the jar clean and place on lid and band. Tighten down to finger tip tight and place jar in the water bath canner.
When you’ve filled the canner, make sure the surface of the water is at least 1 to 2 inches over the top of the jars and bring to a hard boil. Start the processing time after the water has reached a full boil and process 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts.*
*Note: if you’re 1,000 feet above sea level, increase processing time by 5 minutes.
When jars have processed, turn off the heat and remove canner lid and leave jars in the canner for 5 minutes. Then remove jars onto a folded towel in a draft free area and let cool for 24 hours.
Enjoy this treat all winter long.
Now for a really fun treat, make these home canned cinnamon pears! Oh, yes, we did.
Place two 4 inch cinnamon sicks in the bottom of each quart jar. You could also add a pinch of powdered ginger to the syrup if you so wanted.
Disclosure: Some of the below links are affiliate links
Ball Home Canning Utensil Kit– Seriously, this is one of the best investments I’ve ever made for canning supplies and it’s only $10. The measuring and air bubble remover I use all the time, and no more burnt fingers with the jar lifter. Have I mentioned I’m kind of a messy cook/canner? The funnel helps keep me from spilling liquid all over the counter… well, mostly.
I actually use my pressure canner as a water bath canner when doing quarts because it’s taller than my regular canner. You just use a regular tight fitting lid and the rack instead of the pressure canning lid.
Bulk Non-Irradiated Cinnamon Sticks These are much cheaper than I can buy at the store and I’ve got them on hand for all my fall and holiday projects, score!
For more home canning and food preservation my 125+ resource Ultimate Home Food Preservation Guide, filled with recipes, tips, and articles… did I mention it’s FREE!Click Here for Your Ultimate Home Food Preservation Guide
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.