How to Can Pears
Canning pears doesn’t have to be tricky—in fact, we’ve broken it down into just three steps! We’ll teach you how to can pears in light syrup (and how to spice them up a little, too) so you can snack on them year-round. We'll also share some of our favorite canned pear recipes if you're not sure where to start.
On the hunt for a great canning pears recipe? Look no further. Not only will we teach you the basics of how to can pears, but we’ve also got a great recipe for making spiced canned pears for you to try. Break out your boiling-water canner and your favorite canning jars, because you won’t want to miss your chance to preserve juicy, fresh pears for the year to come.
Step 1: Prep Your Pears
Allow for 2 to 3 pounds of pears per quart. Wash the pears with cool, clear water, but do not soak them. Drain the pears, then peel and core them. Halve, quarter, or slice the pears, depending on your preference. Dip into ascorbic acid color-keeper solution and drain.
Step 2: Make a Syrup
Because pears aren’t a sour fruit, you want to use a thin or medium syrup for canning them, depending on how sweet you like your fruit to be. To make a syrup, combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves, and skim off any foam, if necessary.
- For a very thin syrup, use 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water.
- For a thin syrup, use 1-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water.
- For a medium syrup, use 2-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water.
Plan to use ½ to ⅔ cup syrup for each 2 cups of fruit.
Step 3: Hot Pack and Process the Jars
When you're canning pears, hot packing is the preferred method (raw packing isn't recommended). To make a hot pack, simmer the pears in your desired syrup for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fill your canning jars with fruit and syrup, leaving a ½-inch headspace. Using a boiling-water canner, process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes.
Tip: Hot packing pears results in a much better product and makes them less likely to spoil or float in the jars. Plus, more pears can fit in fewer jars, and the process time is less than it would be for a raw pack because the pears are already hot.
How to Make Spiced Canned Pears
If plain pears are a little too pedestrian for you, heat things up by making these spicy canned pears. They’ll keep just as long as regular canned pears, but they bring an extra burst of flavor to the table when you do crack their seal and dig in. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 pounds of firm, ripe pears
- Ascorbic acid color keeper
- 4½ cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 12 teaspoons red cinnamon candies
Step 1: Peel, halve, core, and cut the pears into wedges, placing the wedges in an ascorbic acid solution as you slice them to prevent browning.
Step 2: For the syrup, in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot combine the water and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Drain the pears, and add them to the syrup in the pot. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 4 minutes or until the pears are nearly tender, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Place 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tablespoon ginger, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon candies in each of six hot, sterilized pint canning jars. Ladle the hot pears and syrup into the jars with spices, leaving a ½-inch headspace (there will be some syrup left over). Wipe the jar rims; adjust the lids and screw bands.
Step 4: Process the filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 20 minutes (start timing when the water returns to boiling). Remove the jars from the canner, and cool on wire racks.
How to Make Brandied Honey-and-Spice Pears
Far from plain, this canned pears recipe has a touch of sweetness and a hint of heat. Canned alongside spices like cinnamon, cloves, and crystallized ginger, these pears are great for anyone who likes an extra punch of flavor. Here's what you'll need:
- 6 pounds of firm, ripe pears (about 15 pears)
- Ascorbic acid color keeper
- 4 cups cranberry juice, apple juice, or apple cider
- 1-1/2 cups honey
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons of finely chopped crystallized ginger
- An 8-inch cinnamon stick, broken into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 cup brandy
Step 1: Peel, halve, and core the pears. To prevent discoloration, place the pear halves in ascorbic acid solution as soon as they are peeled and cut. Set aside.
Step 2: For syrup, in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot combine the cranberry juice, honey, lemon juice, crystallized ginger, stick cinnamon, and whole cloves. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat.
Step 3: Drain the pear halves; add to syrup in pot. Stir in brandy. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until the pears are almost tender, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Using a slotted spoon, pack hot pear halves into hot, clean pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Ladle the hot syrup over the pears, maintaining the 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims; adjust the lids and screw bands.
Step 5: Process the filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 20 minutes (start timing when the water returns to boiling). Remove the jars from the canner; cool on wire racks.