Sunday, November 14, 2010

Canning Pears

While Kevan and I were at the farm in Tennessee we noticed that the Pear trees were ripe. The previous farm owners did not take good care of or prune the trees in YEARS. The trees were in bad shape. But, they tasted okay. They were becoming too ripe. We knew this because of the swarm of HUGE hornets, bees and wasps that surrounded the trees.

This is a picture of one of the 3 Pear trees on the property.
We gathered up the good ones and sat them on the porch so they wouldn't rot on the ground. Unfortunately, the hornets/bees/wasps loved them so we wrapped the best ones in newspaper and put them in a styrofoam cooler until we arrived back in Florida.
The pears do not look that great on the outside, but there was nothing wrong with the inside. We were able to save about 44 pears. Unfortunately, I was not able to can them immediately upon returning to Florida because of work, school and life. So, when they started to look too ripe I put them in the fridge (leaving them in the newspaper in case they got too ripe). I put 1/2 on a shelf and 1/2 in the fruit/veggie drawer. When it was time to can them, I took them out and the ones in the drawer had rotted, but the ones on the shelf were just fine. I'm not sure why that was the case, but I think it was probably due to not being enough air circulation since I really shoved them in there. I was/am devastated. I can't believe I lost 6lbs of pears because I was stupid!!

I cut up the remaining pears.
As I cut them I placed them into an anti-browning mixture (1/2 gallon water, 1 T salt, 1 T vinegar). Since I was going to can preserves and quartered pears in separate jars I tried to keep the better looking pears in the bowl on the right and the smaller cuts on the left.
Once I was done cutting them up it was about 6lbs of pears. I created a medium syrup for the preserves (sugar/water) and sliced a whole lemon. I heated the syrup and then added the smaller pear pieces to the mixture.
I cooked them until they were translucent (about 1.5 hours). While they were cooking I worked on my research paper for school. I would much rather be canning than doing homework!

It smelled so good!! It was hard to stop eating them as they were cooking. Once it was about time to actuall "can" them. I heated the pint jars up in boiling water. I also prepared a light syrup for the remaining quartered pears.

Our stove here in Florida is a glass cooktop stove so I am not able to use it for canning. This is a HUGE downside if you have one. The boiler canner is just too heavy and can crack the cooktop. So, I use our propane camp stove out on the lanai to actual do the canning.

I filled the jars with pear preserves and then with syrup, leaving a 1/4 inch space at the top. I put the tops on and then processed them using the boiling method for 20 minutes. I do not have a boiler canner so I used my pressure canner (removing the regulator and emergency plug first).
Once they were processed, I ended up with 4 pints of preserves and 4 pints of quartered pears. Of course, if I had not put the other 1/2 of the pears in the fridge drawer I would have had 16 pints instead of 8.
Also, since we didn't want to waste the pears that had fallen on the ground or were too ripe to can we gave them to the cows. They loved them!

1 comment:

  1. Great job sis. Looks great. Fruit trees are tough to maintain. Can give you some pointers once your ready. Pears produce a lot of ethylene gas that ripens them so putting them in a closed space will make them ripen faster. You can get green tomatoes to ripen quick in a bag with a pear. Cant wait to see you two . Bring us some of those pears. LOL