First time preserving pears

This year, in addition to freezing fruit, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at preserving some fruit in syrup. Happenstance would have it that a friend has a anjou pear tree in their backyard that was bearing loads of fruit and was offering to give them away if we came and picked them ourselves. It worked out perfectly! I offered to take some fruit in exchange for whatever came of my canning adventure.

I counted the number of pears that we picked…55 pears. That meant I had to peel, core, and slice 55 pears.

I looked around the internet and in a few reference books I had borrowed from the library for recipes, or moreso proportions for the syrup. Some recipes gave proportions for sugar to fruit but neglected to include a corresponding volume of water (“just add water” is a bit vague), but I managed to settle on this recipe. I didn’t add all of the spices indicated in the recipe but I did add some cinnamon.

Just getting started with peeling, coring, and slicing the pears. My compost will be very happy! Because I had so many pears to process, I put the sliced pears in lemon water.
I think I could’ve used less sugar in hindsight but I ended up going with a 1 cup: 1 quart: 1 L sugar-to-pear-to-water ratio, based on the handful of recipes I’d read. I let the syrup come to a boil before adding the sliced pears. Once it returned to a boil, I cooked it for 5 minutes.
Once the pears were cooked, I added the slices into the quart jars (washed with hot soapy water before being sterilized in the oven at 225F for 10 minutes) then topped up with syrup, leaving about 0.5-1 inches in headspace. I filled the jars, one at a time, then once they were all filled, I popped them into a simmering pot of water. The jars are sitting on a rack. Once the water came to a boil, I processed the jars for 20 minutes.
I removed the jars from the water and set them on dish towels to cool and finish sealing. Nothing more satisfying than hearing the pop-pop-pop of the seals being activated!

All in all, it took me 6.5 hours from start to finish. It took up a big chunk of my day but I think I’ll be thanking myself during the winter. I have some leftover pears that I didn’t can, so I plan on making some pear bread. I also had a lot of leftover canning syrup, 1 quart of which I canned for later use…but I still had about 4L left over so I might try to freeze some in an ice cube tray for use in drinks. I’ll have to adjust the proportions next time to avoid having 5+L of syrup left over.

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