In the busy hubbub of back to school, I’ve been trying to carve out little moments for things I enjoy. This week it was finding time to can some pears. I’ve never done pears before, but man, they are the easiest! Peeling took a while, but the rest of the process was a snap. A little boiling sweetened liquid; 5 minutes in the pot; fill jars; process for 20 min. From a large paper grocery bag of pears that we’ve been eating out of for a week, I was able to get almost (almost!) a case of pears with a dozen pears left for baking this week (I’m hoping to try some pear-ginger muffins from one of my favorite cookbooks, Once Upon a Tart, and the French Pear Tart from Dorie’s Baking cookbook).
I haven’t opened any of the jars yet, but what I tasted out of the pan as I was canning was really yummy. Pear taste, with just a touch of sweetness from the syrup. I am still trying to source some apples for my apple butter (I think in a couple weeks the next crops will be coming in and I’ve been promised some apples from a friend’s mom), and I didn’t do my blackberry jam (although I might still be able to get some berries this year, late as it is), but for now I have my pears. Well, perhaps I should say, I’ve made my pears–probably my son will eat them all this winter.
I took a quick peek in my Joy of Cooking, but mainly used Rachel’s Tiny Farm recipe for Vanilla Pears. I just added some light spices, and for the second potful, extended the liquid with some apple juice based on Joy of Cooking’s recommendations.
Pears! Lots of them. I would guess I peeled about 15-20 pears For the ratios in this recipe 8lbs is recommened by Rachel, I would guess that is about 10+ medium to large pears.
4 tbs vanilla
4.5 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
I added some cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves. Just a few shakes to lightly spice.
Peel, core and quarter (or slice) the pears. Stir together the water, sugar and vanilla in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the pears and boil them in the vanilla syrup for 5 minutes. Pack the jars with pears, using tongs and then pour the hot syrup over the pears leaving 1/2″ headspace. Process canned pears for 20-25 minutes depending on your jar size. Joy of Cooking says 20 min. for pints, 25 for quarts.
Makes 5-6 pints. I doubled to get my almost case.