Safe food storage has been a concern for every generation. Preserving fruits and vegetables for later use has always been an economically sound way to stretch your budget. Fresh foods, like pears, can be expensive in stores, especially out of season. They can be easily preserved, however, from your garden or favorite farmer's market to enjoy their wonderful summer flavors during the winter months. Safe canning and storage guidelines make it easier than ever to create a pantry full of healthy and inexpensive foods.
Things You'll Need
- Paring knife
- Large stockpot
- Large colander
- Pint or quart canning jars
- Lids (new)
- Jar funnel
- Table knife
- Canning pot
- Jar rack
Sanitize all jars, lids and rings in a pot of boiling water or in top rack of dishwasher to prevent bacteria in the preserved pears. Wash all utensils that will come in contact with the pears or syrup.
Peel, de-stem and core pears with a paring knife. Cut the fruit in quarters or halves and place in a large stock pot.
Cover the pears with 1 gallon of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of salt. Allow the fruit to sit in the salted water for no longer than 20 minutes. This will keep the pears from turning brown. Drain and lightly rinse the pears in a large colander to remove excess salt. Rinse the stock pot thoroughly.
Prepare a light syrup to pack the pears in by mixing 2 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add the pears to the syrup and return to boil. Boil the pears for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Pack the hot pears tightly into canning jars until there's a 1/2 inch of space between the pears and the rim of the jars. This is called head space. Place the jar funnel in the mouth of jars and fill with syrup until pears are just covered. Remove the funnel. Using the table knife, coax out any air bubbles that are caught in the liquid.
Wipe off the rims of the jars to remove any syrup. Place a lid and ring on each jar and tighten by hand until snug.
Fill a canning pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the jars in the jar rack and lower into the boiling water until the jars are covered by a minimum of 1 inch of water. Boil pint jars for 20 to 35 minutes and quart jars for 25 to 40 minutes, depending on the altitude.
Remove the jar rack from the boiling water. Place the hot jars in a safe place to cool overnight. Keep the jars away from drafts to prevent the hot jars from breaking as they cool.
Check the jars the next morning to verify they are properly sealed. The center of canning lids has a small bump before processing that should now be flat. If there is movement or a popping sound when the center of the lid is pressed, that jar has not been fully sealed and will need to be reprocessed with a new lid or placed in the refrigerator for immediate consumption.
Remove the rings from the sealed jars. Place the jars in a cool dry area for storage. Correctly canned pears can be stored for many months, depending on temperature.
- Photo Credit canned fruit image by dwags from Fotolia.com
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