Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pear Preserves

This summer, my mom and I wanted to can and /or make jelly and preserves. We gave it our best when we tried to make strawberry jam earlier in the summer. We truly had great intentions!! We drove for what seemed like half a day to pick fresh berries only to find out they were already closed for the season. Who knew?! We had to settle for store bought strawberries. The jam tasted wonderful. It just wasn’t very jelly-like. We call it ‘spreadable’ jam. We were a little discouraged by this. We knew it tasted good but wanted to give something else a shot too. My mother-in-law offered me access to her pear tree this past weekend, so I took it as a sign for us to make preserves. This is a whole new thing for me, but people have been canning for ages. I can do this, right?

We picked all the pears we could fit into two bags and headed home to get to work. Mama peeled while I searched for a recipe and chopped. Because we had so many pears, we decided we would triple the recipe. 12lbs of pears (about 15 softball size) and six lemons later, we were ready to get cooking….
This is the hardest part...

Hard work pays off!!
Start off by boiling 6 cups of water and 6 cups of sugar. Let boil for 15 minutes then add the pears and lemons and boil for 15 more minutes.

This pot was full!! But the fruit quickly started to cook down.
Cooking away! Watch your pot carefully. Keep a steady boil without letting it boil over. 

Add the remaining 6 cups of sugar and 4 more cups of water (6 seemed like way too much). Let this mixture boil until the pears become transparent and the syrup thickens. This will take about an hour.
I'm sure you could cook the pears until they were darker and even thicker, but I thought they were a beautiful champagne color and a good consistency.

Pack the pears into hot, clean jars and seal immediately.
A wide mouth funnel makes it easy to fill the jars.

Keep your lids in a small pot of boiling water to be sure they stay sterilized.  Lift the lids out of the pot using a fork to help you place it on the jar.



We decided to use the inverted method to see how well it worked. We didn’t hear the jars sealing but every one of them was sealed when we flipped them back over.

I’m hoping these sell well at our FUMC annual Christmas bazaar!
I took a jar to my grandmother, who specializes in pear preserves. She called me that afternoon to tell me how wonderful they were. Nothing better than granmaw's approval!!!
Here is the link to the original recipe: http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/pear-preserves-37859