How to Preserve and Freeze Pears

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Pears are used in a variety of recipes and they are low in calories. Pears also contain vitamin C and fiber. When you have an abundant amount of pears, you can preserve or freeze the fruit. Fruit preserved in a sugar syrup will retain its color, flavor and texture. Once you preserve the pears properly, they will last for up to 12 months in your home freezer or pantry. Use the preserved pears for a snack or to create sweet desserts throughout the year.

Things You'll Need

  • White sugar
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Paring knife
  • Freezer containers or bags
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Quart or pint canning jars
  • Saucepot
  • Lemon juice
  • Table knife
  • Water bath canner
  • Jar tongs

Freeze Pears

  • Select ripe pears that are crisp and firm. Freezing does not improve the flavor or texture of a pear.

  • Wash the pears under cool running water.

  • Peel the skin from the pears. Remove any brown or soft spots from the produce.

  • Slice the pears into wedges and remove the core. Keep the slices around 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick for best results. Remove any seeds from the pears as you slice them.

  • Combine 3 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of water for the syrup solution. Boil the pears with the syrup solution for one to two minutes. Allow the pears and the syrup solution to cool.

  • Pack the pear slices with the syrup into freezer containers or bags. Add 1/2 tsp. of ascorbic acid for every quart of syrup. Cover the pear slices completely and leave 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion.

  • Crumble wax or parchment paper. Place the paper on top of the pear slices to keep them submerged. Seal the container or bag and place the pears in the freezer.

Preserve Canned Pears

  • Select fresh, ripe and mature pears. Avoid soft or rock hard pears. Select around 17 lbs. for 7 quarts or 11 lbs. for 9 pints.

  • Create a light sugar syrup solution for best results. Pour 6 cups of water into a saucepot. Bring the water to a boil and add 2 cups of sugar slowly. Stir until the sugar dissolves, bring the solution to a boil and reduce the heat to keep the syrup hot.

  • Sterilize the canning jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Boil the lids for five minutes to sterilize them as well.

  • Wash the pears under cool running water. Peel the pears and then slice them in half lengthwise.

  • Remove the cores, pits and seeds form the pears. Remove any hard, soft or brown spots from the pears. Slice the pears into halves or quarters if you desire.

  • Pour 1/4 cup of lemon juice over the pears to prevent them from darkening. Stir the pears to coat them with the lemon juice.

  • Place the pears into the syrup solution. Bring the syrup to a boil and heat the pears for five minutes.

  • Fill the canning jars with the pears and syrup solution. Cover the pears completely with the syrup solution. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace and remove any air bubbles from the jars with a table knife.

  • Prepare the water bath canner according to the manufacturer instructions. Place the pears in the water bath canner and cover them with 1 inch of boiling water. Boil the pint pear jars for 20 minutes at an altitude between 1,001 and 3,000 feet, 30 minutes between 3,001 and 6,000 feet or 35 minutes for altitudes above 6,000 feet. Boil the quart pear jars for 25 minutes for an altitude between 0 and 1,000 feet, 30 minutes for an altitude between 1,001 and 3,000 feet, 35 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 feet and 40 minutes for an altitude above 6,000 feet.

  • Remove the canning jars from the canner with jar tongs. Allow the jars to cool without letting them touch. Place them in a draft-free location to allow them to cool completely.

  • Press down on the center of the lid once the pears cool. If the lid pops up and down, then the jar did not seal. Store the unsealed pear jars in the refrigerator and store the sealed jars in a cool and dark location.

Tips & Warnings

  • Syrup prevents the pears from browning and reduces freezer burn.
  • Preserve the pears with natural fruit juice such as apple or white grape juice.
  • Process the pears for 10 minutes at 5 lbs. of pressure for an altitude between 0 to 1,000 feet or at 10 lbs. of pressure for an altitude above 1,000 feet for a weighted gauge pressure canner.
  • Process the pear jars for 10 minutes in a dial-gauge pressure canner. Set the canner for 6 lbs. at an altitude between 0 and 2,000 feet, 7 lbs. of pressure for 2,001 to 4,000 feet, 8 lbs. of pressure for 4,001 and 6,000 feet and 9 lbs. of pressure for an altitude between 6,001 and 8,000 feet.
  • Discard pears that have mold growth or an off odor to prevent the risk of an illness.

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References

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