I was asked about canning Asian pears, so I did a little research. Asian pears need to be acidified before canning. I learned something new!
I’m not familiar with this type of fruit, and I’m not able to get Asian pears where I live. However, they do grow near my virtual assistant Rachel Abernathy, so I requested that she take some photographs for you while canning Asian pears. (All but the first photo below credited to Rachel Abernathy.)
Asian pears are not like the usual pear you can buy in your supermarket. At least they are not readily available in my area. From what I read, they are very apple-like. Often called apple pears or oriental pears, they are shaped more like an apple. They are tart and the texture is more crunchy like an apple.
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Canning Asian Pears: Extended, Step-By-Step Directions
Gather Your Canning Supplies:
- water bath canner
- canning jars
- canning seals and rings
- jar lifter
- canning funnel
- large pot
- large spoons
- sharp knife
- towels and dish cloths
- Asian pears
- lemon juice
Peel, core, and slice your Asian pears in half. Cut out any bruised or blemished areas. Slice them directly into syrup to prevent discoloring. You may also cut them in slices if you prefer.
Syrup for Packing
Prepare light or medium syrup. (I prefer light syrup.) Simply heat water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar dissolves.
- Light – 2 cups sugar to 1 quart water
- Medium – 3 cups sugar to 1 quart water
For honey syrup, see below.
The other option is to place peeled and sliced pears into an ascorbic or citric acid solution. This commercial product prevents browning. Follow the directions on the package. When you have enough pears prepared, drain and rinse. Then place the pears into your hot syrup.
Cook pears 5-6 minutes in your syrup, just enough to heat through. You don’t want to overcook. Here is where Asian pears differ from most fruits. You need to add lemon juice to acidify the fruit. Add 1 T to each pint or 2 T to each quart.
Pack hot pears into hot jars. Cover with the same syrup you cooked in, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
Release bubbles, clean rims, and process according to these Water Bath Canning Instructions.
- Pints – 20 minutes.
- Quarts – 25 minutes.
Don’t forget to adjust for altitude, using the chart below.
Canning Asian Pears Tips & FAQs
What About Pressure Canning Asian Pears?
With the addition of lemon juice, Asian pears are perfectly safe for water bath canning! The lemon juice isn’t just for color; it is a safety issue, so don’t skip it. Besides, I imagine that pressure canning fruit would make it incredibly mushy.
Canning Asian Pears Without Sugar?
Asian pears can be canned in water or juice, but some sort of sugar syrup helps preserve the texture and flavor. You can make a syrup with honey if you don’t want to use processed sugar:
- Light – 1 1/2 cups honey to 4 cups water
- Medium – 2 cups honey to 4 cups water
Different Varieties of Asian Pears
There are several different varieties available. Some Asian pears have a light, smoothly textured skin, while others have a thicker, rougher skin. Flavor can vary somewhat too, with some sweeter than others, at least in Rachel’s experience.
Canning Asian Pears
- 11-13 pounds Asian pears
- Lemon juice
- Sugar for syrup optional
- Start by preparing jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.See full water bath canning instructions here.
For a Hot Pack
- Peel and cut Asian pears in half, removing cores and blemishes.
- Slice directly into prepared sugar syrup.
- Cook pears 5–6 minutes, to heat through.
- Add lemon juice (1 Tbsp. per pint, 2 Tbsp. per quart) to each jar.
- Pack hot pears into hot jars.
- Cover with syrup, leaving 1/2” headspace.
- Remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim clean and place on your seal and ring. Place the jar in the canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process according to the chart below.
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Last Updated: 4/7/2021
Canning pears, especially for those with a pear tree, is a great way to lower waste and keep the fruit delicious all year. It’s the next best thing to fresh, and it’s easy to learn!
Water bath canning is where most newbies begin on their food preservation journey – with good reason! Water bath canning is fun and easy.
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Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Page Last Updated: 4/7/2021