When canning pears, you need to choose fruit that is ripe but not too soft.
Pears are another fruit that we love. Jarring it up provides fruit year around that is so much healthier than store-bought fruit. Here’s how to can fresh pears.
Pears may be processed in a water bath canner.
This Page Includes:
- Canning Pears: Extended, Step-By-Step Directions
- A Brief Side Trip
- Do Pears Have to Be Ripe to Can Them? How Do I Speed Up the Ripening Process?
- What Kinds of Pears Can Be Canned? What About Anjou? Bartlett? What are the Best Pears for Canning?
- Canning Pears Without Sugar?
- Skip to Pinnable Recipe Card
- Members’ Extra
Though a sugar syrup is standard, I opted to use a medium honey syrup for a different flavor.
While browsing around looking for something fun to do, I also came across many vanilla pear jam recipes. Inspired, I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to my syrup. YUM. (Vanilla pear jam coming soon!)
Canning Pears: Extended, Step-By-Step Directions
Gather your canning supplies for canning pears:
- water bath canner
- canning jars
- canning seals and rings
- jar lifter
- canning funnel
- large pot or blancher
- large spoons
- sharp knife
- towels and dish cloths
- sugar or honey – for the syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional addition to syrup)
Prepare light or medium syrup. (I prefer light syrup.) Simply heat water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar dissolves.
- Light syrup – 2 cups sugar to 1 quart water
- Medium syrup – 3 cups sugar to 1 quart water
Canning Pears with Honey
You can also make a syrup with honey if you don’t want to use processed sugar.
- Light honey syrup – 1 1/2 cups honey to 4 cups water
- Medium honey syrup – 2 cups honey to 4 cups water
Add in 1 tsp vanilla if desired.
How to Can Pears
Start by preparing jars, and getting water in your canner heating. (See Water Bath Canning for full preparation instructions.)
Prepare your choice of syrup. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to just keep hot. Peel, core, and slice your pears in halves or slices. Cut out any bruised areas.
How to Keep Sliced Pears from Turning Brown
Place peeled and sliced pears into an citric acid solution. This commercial product prevents browning. Follow the directions on the package, or use a lemon juice and water mixture instead.
I prefer the lemon juice option, just because I usually have lemon juice on hand. I believe the recommendation is 3/4 cup to 1 gallon water…but I almost never need a gallon of pretreatment, so I use 1 cup lemon juice to 2 quarts water. That is stronger than needed, but my pears always stay nice and bright.
When you have enough pears prepared, drain and add pears to hot syrup. Simmer pears 5 minutes in syrup, just enough to heat them through. You don’t want to overcook them, but when you are canning pears, a hot pack works best.
Using a slotted spoon, pack hot pears into hot jars, covering with the same syrup you cooked them in, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles, and place your lids.
As a high-acid fruit, pears can be processed in a water bath canner. One exception to this? Asian pears.
Side Note About Canning Asian Pears
Did you know that Asian pears must be processed in a pressure canner? Check out more on canning Asian pears here.
Water Bath Canning Pears
Process pints for 20 minutes or quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. (See chart below for adjustments.) If you’d like to learn more about why adjusting your processing time is so important, check out this page on altitude adjustments.
A Brief Side Trip…
Here are 35 seconds of nothing important…just because a Washington Pear Orchard is a wonderful place to be. 🙂
With friends in the Mt. Hood area, I got to glean from some pear orchards right after the harvest!
I’m such a food geek, so I thought it was fun! Mt. Hood Orchards fruit right in my kitchen ripening and smelling heavenly.
And yes…I did get it all in the car.
Canning Pears – FAQs
Do Pears Have to Be Ripe to Can Them? How Do I Speed Up the Ripening Process?
Yes, pears for canning should be ripe, but not overly ripe (mushy). If your pears are green, let them set on the counter for a few days at least. (Some people use apples and bananas to increase ethylene gas, and thus quicken the process. To do this, simply place apples and bananas near the pears, or put bananas or apples in a paper bag with the pears.)
Pears are the rare fruit that can be picked green and still taste wonderful when is ripened off the tree. It is common to pick pears green. For example, the pears I’m picking in the gleaning video above were green and hard. They survived the trip home (a couple days in the car!), and I still had to wait a little while before they were ripe enough for canning.
What Kinds of Pears Can Be Canned? What About Anjou? Bartlett? What are the Best Pears for Canning?
According to Ball, Bartlett pears are best, but I don’t see why you couldn’t can ANY variety of pear, as long as they’re at the proper ripeness. (The only exception would be Asian pears, which must be canned with lemon juice for safety reasons.)
Canning Pears Without Sugar?
According to the NCHFP, pears can be canned in “syrup, juice, or water.” However, pears are one type of fruit that benefits from the addition of some sort of syrup. The sugar will help preserve the texture. Pears are delicate and can use the help!
Pinnable Recipe Card
- Sugar or honey for syrup optional
- Vanilla 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
- Make a light or medium syrup. (Add in 1 tsp vanilla if desired.)
- Peel, core, and slice pears in halves or slices.
- Slice into citric acid or lemon juice solution.
- Drain and add pears to syrup pot, with just enough syrup to cover.
- Simmer 5 minutes.
- Pack hot pears into hot jar.
- 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
Learn how to can Asian pears (also known as apple pears or oriental pears), so you can enjoy their goodness into the winter!
This is an easy Crockpot method for making Pear Butter. A bit of orange and nutmeg in this pear butter recipe makes it delicious.
Canning applesauce doesn’t have to be boring or complicated! Learn the safe, easy way to make your own homemade, healthy applesauce recipe using no sugar and a water bath canner.
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Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Page last updated: 4/7/2021