Monday, November 17, 2008

November Weekend: Canning Pears

It was another blustery November day here, with the first real snow flurry we've had this year. It was a good day to be indoors by the wood stove and fireplace.


I've been putting off canning pears, so today was the day. Our tree was loaded this year, like almost all the fruit trees. I planted this tree as soon as we bought our land in 1975. There were two of them, but one tree did not survive the first year. This one is just over 30 years old and going strong. This year it must have had 10 bushels of pears on it.










Our pears are old-fashioned Bartletts. They stay hard as a brick on the tree, but after a few weeks in the cellar they are ripe and soft.








First step: wash the jars. Wide-mouth jars are nice for pears because they're easier to load, but the fruit tends to float in them more than in the regular-mouth jars.



The pears get a nice bath before processing.





Packed into the jars...



with a dose of sugar added. The pears are sweet enough without the sugar, but when I've canned them without sugar they lost flavor and sweetness. I'm not sure why this happens, but I've noticed it more than once.





This was a giant pear, one of many such on our tree. It filled a quart jar all by itself.




The finished product. We ended up with 20 quarts, and still have 2 bushels to process. (Another drawback to the wide-mouth jars--they lose more liquid in the canning process. Ah well...)




7 comments:

Janet, said...

Sussanna, I envy you. We had plenty of pears this year, but they were small and I just couldn't get up enough desire to can. So I made some pear bread and a couple of pear pies and put them in the freezer. And I made some pear jam. Those pears look like the ones on my little tree, I like them better than the soft kind. Congratulations on your canning.

City Mouse said...

Oooh - I just love pears. I think they are an underrated fruit. Think of all the great pear things you can do at holiday time!

City Mouse said...

Oh yeah, and I tagged you with a meme at my blog. =)

Mary said...

And this is what you did on your "sleeping late" day? You do impress me! I think this is the same type of pears that my Uncle Ed grew on his farm. I remember going there to pick pears and bringing them home to wrap in newspapers and keep in a barrel in the basement. They were so good!
May your canned bounty sustain life and pleasure through the winter!

intouchwith said...

I love pears, I just wanted to take a bite of that big one.

Granny Sue said...

I am going to try making some spiced pears this week if I can get some time, and perhaps spiced pear jam later. Mary, I think you are right about wrapping them. I may do some that way to keep them longer. My neighbors call these "winter pears."

I love pears too, intouchwith. They are one of my favorite fruits--actually there are few fruits not on my favorite list!

The Tile Lady said...

You have been so busy! And look at all those wonderful canned pears!

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