by Texas Homesteader
*this post contains an affiliate link
A sweet friend offered to let me pick pears from her very large pear tree. I love pears both fresh and home-canned so I eagerly accepted her offer.
I made pear preserves with some of the pears primarily because RancherMan loves them so much.
But I love to eat canned pears in light vanilla syrup as a simple dessert, eaten cold right out of the fridge. So today I set out to can some of these delicious pears.
(Note: Some links in this post are for further information from earlier posts I’ve written. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click them and buy something (almost anything, not just the item noted) I could receive a small purchase. But the price you pay will NOT change. It’s an easy way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket. So click often! Thank you!)
Wait A Minute – Slow Down!
Now just because I have these visions of beautifully-preserved pears in my head doesn’t mean I jump right in and start preparing the pears yet.
Remember when you were in elementary school and finally got to join the class that would teach you to play your very first musical instrument – the recorder??
You eagerly squirmed in your seat for the chance to play, visions of amazing music dancing in your head. But the teacher wanted to first drone on & on about musical notes, composition, the history of music and blah-blah-blah…
Yes, for me canning is EXACTLY like that! Even though I’m anxious to get those pears canned I’ve found that doing all the prep work beforehand really helps things go smoothly.
So before I ever touch a pear the first thing I do is prepare the canning jars by washing them thoroughly. Then I place the clean jars in my oven set to 225 degrees to sanitize them and keep them hot.
Now I assemble all my tools – the water-bath canner, canning lids, jar lifter, pot holders, stainless-steel straining spoon. etc.
Today I’m using reusable * Tattler Lids. I love how they’re almost infinitely reusable. It’s always bothered me from an environmental standpoint to only be able to use part of a standard 2-part canning lid once and then have to throw it away.
Now that my supplies are gathered I add some water to a small pan to use to soften the sealing part of my jar lids when it’s time. I also fill the canner with water & set it on the stove to begin heating up.
When all is ready I’m finally ready to begin processing my pears.
Preparing The Pears
Today I’ll be filling up my canner with 7 quart jars. That means about 17.5 lbs or about 35 cups of pears! Now peeling all these pears with a knife is a daunting task indeed! Thankfully I had this *apple peeler. I found that I could peel a pear in 5-7 seconds using this thing!
This helped make short work for the most tedious part of this process. All the pear scraps went to our three baby goats who thanked me profusely for them!
As each pear was peeled I dropped it in a solution of Fruit Fresh and water. This keeps them from turning dark after they’re peeled.
When I had a good supply of pears peeled I cut them in half & scooped out the hard middle seed section and dropped them back into the Fruit Fresh mixture.
(NOTE: If your simple syrup is already made, you can just remove the pan from the heat & drop your peeled pears into your syrup and give it a stir. It doesn’t keep the pears as light as the fruit fresh solution does, but it does help keep the pears from turning dark)
Making The Vanilla Simple Syrup
When I had enough pears prepared to fill my jars I got to work making my vanilla-flavored simple syrup. Simple syrup is just a mixture of sugar and water.
But changing the ratios makes for either light, medium or heavy syrup. I prefer a light syrup as I think the pears are sweet all by themselves.
Light syrup is a ratio of 1 part sugar to 3 parts water. So for my quantity of pears I stirred together 2 cups sugar to 6 cups of water and brought the mixture to a boil for 3-4 minutes to fully dissolve the sugar.
Then I added my prepared pears and let them simmer in the simple syrup only for 5 minutes to get everything good & hot. This is called ‘Hot Pack‘ and it helps keep the fruit from floating as much after it’s canned. After the 5 minutes simmer time was done I removed the pan of pears & syrup from the heat.
Finally I splashed a little vanilla extract into the pears & syrup. I really like the resulting flavor when vanilla extract is added! A quick stir and I’m ready to go.
As the pears were simmering I’d brought my pan of water to be used for the lids to a boil. When the water started boiling I removed it from the heat and dropped in the rubber rings from my Tattler lids and also the Tattler lids themselves.
Soaking the lids in hot (not boiling) water allows the rubber to soften and helps give a better seal.
Filling The Jars
After simmering my pears I ladled them into my washed, sanitized and still-hot canning jars. Then I topped them off with syrup, leaving 1/2″ headspace to keep it from bubbling over in the canner.
I ran a rubber spatula handle around the pears to allow any trapped air bubbles to be released. And I wiped the rims of the jars to assure there was no residue or syrup there to keep the sealing process from completing.
Then I topped each jar with the two-piece tattler lid, added a canning ring and tightened it down finger-tight. Then I backed it off just a tiny bit. This gives the Tattler lid opportunity to release pressure as it’s in the canner.
(If you’re using regular canning lids this backing off the tightness isn’t required – just attach the lids finger tight)
Finally I put each jar in a simmering water bath canner making sure I had at least 1 inch of water covering the jars.
Canning The Vanilla Pears
I process my pints for 20 minutes & my quarts for 25 minutes. (your time could vary based on altitude and even your canning equipment. Be sure to follow the instructions for your area)
Since I was canning quarts this time I processed this batch in the water-bath canner for 25 minutes after it returned to boiling. When the canning time was up I turned off the heat and allowed the jars to sit in the hot water for an additional 10 minutes. This jus helps equalize the pressure some so you don’t get hot pears & syrup trying to push out beneath the lids when you remove the jars.
Then after that 10 minutes rest time was up, I removed the hot jars from the canner.
Because I was using Tattler lids I carefully brought each jar out and tightened the lid the rest of the way. If you’re using traditional lids you don’t need to tighten the rings at this time.
I placed the jars on a towel on the counter. I left them undisturbed until morning to cool & seal.
If you’ve used traditional lids you’ll hear a ‘PLINK’ as each lid seals tightly to the jar. But Tattler lids don’t give that sound of ‘PLINK’ when they seal. You’ll need to wait until the next day to test the seal.
The next morning I was able to remove the canning ring and test the seal by very gently pulling up on the Tattler lids. All of them sealed properly!
If you’ve used traditional lids you’ll test the seals by pressing the center of each flat lid. You should hear nothing – if you hear a metallic plink each time you press a lid, that jar did not seal. Place unsealed jars in the refrigerator and consume the contents within a couple of days.
All my jars sealed perfectly. So I washed down each jar with a warm soapy cloth to remove any traces of syrup on the jars.
To label the contents I use a sharpie to write directly on the glass or atop the metal lid. Now I have several jars of these sweet pears waiting on my pear-eating whim!
Fresh Pear Halves In Vanilla Syrup
During pear season there are many ways to preserve the bounty. One of my favorites is fresh pears in light vanilla syrup. You can water-bath can it for 20-25 minutes and store those jars of goodness in the pantry. #TexasHomesteader
- 35 cups Fresh pears Peeled, cored & halved
- 6 cups Water
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
To make light syrup at a 3 parts water to 1 part sugar, boil 6 cups of water, then add 2 cups sugar and stir to dissolve. Boil for 3-4 minutes to completely dissolve sugar. Remove from heat & set aside.
Peel, core & halve fresh pears. If desired, drop prepared pears into fruit fresh solution to keep them from turning brown. (I typically just drop them in my simple syrup pot & give a stir)
When all pears and prepared, drain from fruit fresh solution (if using) and transfer pears to simple syrup pot. Boil about 5 minutes for hot-pack procedure.
Remove from heat & stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Prepare 7 quart jars by washing and rinsing thoroughly. Heat jars either by placing in an oven set to 200 degrees or by adding water & placing jars in canner as it's heating. (This helps prevent the thermal shock of placing hot food in a cool jar)
Fill water-bath canner with water and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Boiling this much water takes quite a bit of time so start this step early.
Boil water in a small pan, remove from heat and drop in flat canning jar lids to soften the seals.
When pears are ready to can, place funnel atop hot canning jar and fill with hot pears. Pour syrup on top to within about 1/2" of the rim.
Run a small rubber spatula down alongside the edges of the jar to release any trapped bubbles. Top with more syrup if needed.
Wipe rim of jar with clean wet cloth to assure no syrup or pear particles remain. Add canning jar flat lid and use canning jar ring to tighten finger tight. Add each lidded jar of pears carefully to the boiling water in the canner.
NOTE: Each filled jar will displace a little more of the boiling water. But you're going to want to make sure at the end you have enough boiling water to cover all of your jars with at least 1" of water.
When all jars are added to the canner, assure the boiling water covers the top of the jars by at least 1". Then place the lid on top of your canner and bring the water to a boil.
Boil water 1" over jars for 25 minutes for quarts (20 minutes for pints).
When canning time is up, turn off heat and allow jars to remain in the canner for 10 additional minutes. This helps equalize the pressure inside the jars reducing the chance that pears & syrup don't pressure themselves from beneath the lid when removing from the canner.
After 10 minutes rest time is up, carefully remove the jars of your canned pears and place on a towel on a countertop away from drafts. Allow to cool overnight.
The following morning test the seals by pressing gently on the center of each flat lid. If you hear a plinky noise when pressed, place that jar in the refrigerator and consume within a couple of days.
If no noise is heard when pressing the center of the flat lid, your jar of fruit has been successfully sealed. Remove the jar band, wipe down the jar to remove any syrup residue, label the contents and store in your pantry.
NOTE: Using Tattler reusable canning jar lids is slightly different than using traditional metal 1-time use canning jar lids. Per the Tattler site:
TATTLER REUSABLE CANNING LID USAGE
Tattler Lids do require a bit of variation from conventional metal lids. Being a two piece combination with a rubber gasket ring, Tattler Lids must remain a bit loose during processing in order for the jar to vent the pressure that has built in the jar during processing. An online customer gave us a very good tip on how tight is 'Just Right'. To get the feel for the correct tightness prior to processing, place the jar on a counter top or other smooth surface, then place your index finger on the lid (do not apply too much pressure while tightening the metal band). Screw the metal band on until the jar begins to spin on the counter top (or other smooth surface). This is the perfect tightness for processing!
THE FOLLOWING FINAL STEP IS CRUCIAL TO ENSURE A GOOD SEAL:
Once the process is completed and the jars are removed from your canner, Let the bubbling die down (approximately 4-5 minutes), as this is pressure still releasing from the jars. Place a towel over the still hot jars (for safety) and finish tightening the metal bands. Now, let your jars cool naturally and when cool to room temperature, remove the metal band and lift the jar slightly by the lid. It should be well sealed. Your food is ready for storing (store without metal screw bands).
Other Pear Delights:
- Pear Sauce (like applesauce but with pears)
- Sweet-n-Savory Pear Relish
- Pear Cake – A Surprisingly Delicious Recipe
- Fresh Pear Preserves
Other Canning Posts
- Crazy Canning Lady: Successes & Failures
- Pressure-Canning Asparagus
- Canning Pears In Light Syrup
- Water-Bath Canning Homemade Apple Pie Filling
- Canning Cinnamon/Vanilla Applesauce
- Homemade Apple Cider
- Canning Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Pressure-Canning Homemade Broth
- Canning Jar Storage Solution
…And Many More
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea – lots of good folks sharing! You can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.
If you’d like to receive an email each time a new blog post goes live it’s EASY to
Subscribe to our blog!