Prepare your water bath canner by filling it with water. You just need to have enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch 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 170˚F.
Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl for now.
Prep the Pears
Fill a large bowl halfway with water and mix in 1/3 cup of bottled lemon juice.
1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
Cut the tops and bottoms off of the fruit.
17 pounds pears
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 the bowl is getting full of skinned/cored pears, start the syrup. In a large pot, mix 1 cup of sugar per 6 cups of water and heat over medium.
6 cups water, 1 cup sugar
(Hot pack option) 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.
(Hot pack option) Using a fork, grab the now softened pears one at a time, and put them cavity side down in the canning jar.
(Raw pack option) use a fork and place pears cavity side down in the canning jar.
Return the burner under the canner back to high to get the water back to a rolling boil.
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 plastic 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 and ring on the jar and tighten the ring to fingertip tight.
Canning the Pears
Using canning tongs, gently place your jars in the canner. Put the lid on, and set your timer. Pro tip: the water must return to a boil in the canner before you can start the timer.
Once your jars are completely covered with the boiling water, put the lid on and boil for 20 minutes (pints) or 25 minutes (quarts).
Process HOT PACK pints and quarts based on the elevation guide below:*0-1,000 ft – Pints =20 min Quarts =25 min*1,001-3,000 ft – Pints =25 min Quarts =30 min*3,001-6,000 ft – Pints =30 min Quarts =35 min*6,000 ft+ – Pints =35 min Quarts =40 min
Process RAW PACK pints and quarts based on the elevation guide below:*0-1,000 ft – Pints =25 min Quarts =30 min*1,001-3,000 ft – Pints =30 min Quarts =35 min*3,001-6,000 ft – Pints =35 min Quarts =40 min*6,000 ft+ – Pints =40 min Quarts =45 min
Once your jars are starting to process, fill up your next 6-7 jars with hot pears, syrup, etc.
Once the pears have processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the burner, and carefully remove the lid of the canner (Pro tip: use oven mitts to take the lid off because the steam is super hot).
Remove the jars using canning tongs and place them on towels on the counter undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
After everything has cooled, check the seal by pushing down on the middle of the lid. If it doesn't give way, it's sealed. If the lid bows a little bit, put that in the fridge and use it within 3 weeks.
Label the sealed jars, and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.
You’ll need about 17 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.
If you’re planning to can multiple batches of pears all at once, I use my crockpot to create and keep the syrup hot. It frees up space on the stove.
Once the jars have sealed, remove the rings. Label and store sealed jars in a cool (best results are 50-70˚F) dark place for up to 12-18 months.