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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Home Canned Pears

This time of year local produce is abundant and inexpensive. I made a trip to my favourite farm market last Wednesday. There was so much to choose from! The deep oranges, reds, yellows mixed with shades of green echoed the changing colours on the trees. The beautiful aroma of the various fruits and vegetables tantalized the taste buds. I could have stayed there all day!

Purchases

Pictured are the day's purchase from the farm market with the exception of the two oranges that I bought at the grocery store on the way home. I needed those for another recipe. As I walked through the farm market I mentally thought about what I was going to make with each item added to the counter. It's a small market with no shopping carts so purchases go onto the counter to be rung up when you're finished selecting.

The weather was cool so leeks were needed for a large pot of potato and leek soup. Cabbages were cheap and since I wanted to try a new cabbage recipe (see tomorrow's post) two went onto the counter. Two winter squash and a pumpkin were must haves. Bartlett pears and Crispin (Mutsu) apples were added because you can never have too many apples. Topping off the purchases were sweet potatoes, sweet pepper. tomatoes and apple cider. I plan on making mulled apple cider with the cider, always a wonderful fall beverage that not only tastes good but makes the house smell wonderful!

Home Canned Pears

Fruit is extremely easy to can and because it is processed using a boiling water bath canner (BWB) you can take advantage of fruit savings as they become available. The nice thing about canning fruit is you can do as many jars as you want or have fruit to fill. This means if you can easily adjust the number of jars canned to meet your needs. Another nice thing about canning fruit is you add various spices and/or alcohol (eg. brandy) for a unique product.

I canned 5 - 500 ml (pint) jars of plain Bartlett pears using a thin syrup. The syrup can be adjusted to medium or heavy and you can substitute the sugar with either corn syrup or honey. Both substitutions will give a different flavour to the finished product. Do not use artificial sweeteners for canning fruits. Yellow Bartlett pears are better for canning than other varieties but you cannot use them fully ripened as they will be too soft. Use under ripe Bartlett pears instead. Approximately .57 kg (1¼ lb of pears) will be needed per 2 - 500 ml (pint) or 1 - L (quart) or for an easy estimation 8 large pears should yield about 5 - 500 ml (pint) jars of finished product.

Method: Wash, peel and core the pears. Cut into desired size. Place in a bowl with water and about 1 tbsp lemon juice to prevent browning. Make desired syrup* (see below). Add spices if desired. Bring the syrup to a boil. Pack the pear slices into hot, sterilized jars leaving ½ headspace. Pour hot syrup over the pears leaving ½ headspace. Wipe the rims. Adjust two piece lids. Process 500 ml (pint) 20 minutes, 1 L (quart) 25 minutes in boiling water bath canner.

Syrups for Canning:

  • thin - 1 c sugar, 2 c water; yield 2.5 c syrup
  • medium - 1.5 c sugar, 2 c water; yield 2.75 c syrup
  • thick - 2.25 c sugar, 2 c water; yield 3.25 c syrup
  • substitute up to ½ the white sugar with corn syrup or honey if desired or ¼ the white sugar with maple syrup
Multiply the proportions as required for the number of jars you are using. As a guide I doubled the thin syrup for the 5 - 500 ml (pint) jars for 5 c of syrup but only used about 4¼ of it.


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