Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Canning Pears and Using the Peel
I posted awhile ago about making applesauce and using the peel. Well, there are ways to use the peel with pears too!
This year I got 40lbs of bartlett pears. I quartered and canned most of them in white grape juice and some in a honey solution. Did I peel the pears? No, I did not. Peeling pears is worse than peeling apples! Besides, it is perfectly safe to wash, quarter, core and can pears with the peels on.
It does not alter the taste of the canned pears, as far as I can tell. I tried peeled and unpeeled last year to make sure. If you don't like to eat the peel, can them with the peel anyway! It's less work because instead of peeling them beforehand, you can just easily slip them off after you open a new jar.
Pear butter was a new project for me this year. I have to say, I don't like it nearly as much as apple butter. I made it the same way I make apple butter. I just make pear sauce (the same way you'd make applesauce, but leave that peel on) and cook longer in the crock pot. Because I use peel, I either mash or puree before canning.
But my favorite canning experiment this year so far was pear preserves. YUM!!! I found a recipe on AllRecipes.com and tweaked it a bit (mostly by keeping the peels and halving the sugar). It is still super sweet, more like a candy, and is great for topping ice creams, pancakes, waffles, etc. Here is the recipe for the preserves. Use normal canning procedures in addition to these instructions.
6 cups cored and diced pears
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package powdered fruit pectin
4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1. Combine pears, water, and lemon juice in a large saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Mash pears with a potato masher until about half of it is crushed.
2. Stir in pectin and bring to a full boil. Stir in white sugar and bring to a full boil, stirring uncovered for 1 minute to dissolve sugar.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar and spices.
4. Fill canning jars and process at full boil for 10 minutes.
I would love to hear how you put up your pears! Any great recipes out there?