Canning fresh fruits extends summer's bounty all winter long. If you plan on preserving pears, storing them in homemade pear juice is a healthier alternative to syrupy sugar water. By canning the fruit fresh and using homemade juice, these pears will be more flavorful and nutritious than anything you can buy in stores. Pear juice also works in homemade fruit cocktail. Make extra jars and give them away to friends and relatives as gifts.
Things You'll Need
- Sugar (optional)
Select pears that are just starting to ripen. If you juice pears that are too soft, your juicer can become clogged with the fruit's gritty flesh. If they are extremely soft, pears become essentially impossible to juice, so always choose ones that are still a bit firm.
Wash all your pears thoroughly to remove any dirt or chemicals. Cut the pear into smaller pieces, paying special attention to remove the stem and seeds.
Run the pear pieces through your juicer as you would normally, according to the juicer's instructions. You may discard the fruit pulp, but reserve all of the juice the fruit produces.
Strain the juice through cheesecloth. Pear juice is very thick, which can be nice if you are making a fresh batch of mixed juice. For canning purposes, however, you'll want the juice to be a bit thinner.
Heat the fruit juice in a saucepan with equal parts water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, and then reduce the heat. The sugar in the pear juice will help the canned fruit retain its color, texture and shape. However, if you prefer a sweeter snack, you can add anywhere from 1/4 cup to 4 cups of sugar to the mixture, depending on your preference and the amount of juice you are making. If you wanted the added sweetness without the extra calories, try substituting Splenda (sucralose) for the sugar.
Pour the still-hot juice over the fruit in jars, making sure that the fruit is completely covered. Leave about a 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar. Continue canning the fruit as you would normally.