An easy step by step tutorial for beginners on Canning Pears.
Prepare your water bath canner by filling it with water. You just need to have enough water to cover the jars by 2 inches once the water is boiling.
Set the canner on the stove. Turn the burner to high. Once it reaches a boil, reduce it to simmer. You want to keep the water hot so that everything is ready when the pears are.
Wash and sanitize your jars. You’ll want to keep them warm to avoid having them crack when placed in the canner. You can fill them with hot water, or place them on a tray in the oven at 200 degrees F.
Wash your lids and set aside in clean place. You no longer need to simmer lids in water to keep them sterile.
Cut the tops and bottoms off of the fruit.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off all the pear skins.
After that, cut the pear in half from the top to the bottom. Take the paring knife and make a cut from the stem to the bottom on one side. Repeat on the other side, then jiggle the core out. Discard the core, and put the pear in the water with the lemon juice.
When you have a bowl that is getting full of ready pears, start your syrup. In a large pot, mix 1 cup of sugar per 6 cups of water and heat over medium.
Once the syrup is boiling, add the pears one layer at a time (a canning term that means don’t totally fill the pot) and heat for 5 minutes.
Using a fork, grab the now softened pears one at a time, and put them cavity down in the canning jar.
Using a canning funnel and a ladle, slowly pour the hot syrup into the jars until the pears are completely covered. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace. Headspace is defined as the space between the top of the food and the top of the jar.
Remove the bubbles from the jar (I use a chopstick).
Use a wet clean rag and wipe the rim of the jars to make sure it is free of any food or syrup.
Place a clean lid on the jar and tighten the ring to fingertip tight.
Once the water is boiling, gently place your jars in one at a time using canning tongs.
Once your jars (typically 6-7 quart jars can fit in the canner) are completely covered with the boiling water, put the lid on and boil for 20 minutes (pints) or 25 minutes (quarts).
Once your jars are starting to process, fill up your next 6-7 jars with hot pears, syrup, etc.
When the time is up, turn off the stove and let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.
Pretty soon you’ll start hearing some “pops and pings” which are the sounds of the jars sealing. Yay!! You did it!
After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed. You can reprocess them or store them in the fridge or freezer (only freeze jars that are wide mouth).
You’ll need about 20 pounds of pears to fill seven quarts.
No matter how well you pack those jars, your pears may/will float to the top of the jars after canning. This is called fruit float. This is totally safe as long as the jars are sealed.
Feel free to add some whole spices to the jars just prior to canning. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp whole allspice, and 1/4 tsp whole cloves to each jar.
Store in a cool dry place for up to 12 months.