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I love growing my own food. Part of growing all the food is not only eating it fresh in the summer, but preserving it for winter use. One of the things we were blessed with when we moved to our acreage was 2 pear trees! So of course I figured out how to make the most of them. One of the ways I found to use the pears and preserve them was to make pear sauce. Making pear sauce is a simple process.
You will need:
Long spatula or knife
Hot water bath
Stock pot (I usually have at least 2)
Sieve/immersion blender/kitchen aid sieve attachment
Step 1: Pick the pears while they are still green on the tree. This saves bruising when they fall off, and allows you to get the pears instead of the squirrels eating them all half way. Take them to a cool dark area and lay them out. I usually use an old sheet or boxes in the basement. Check on them every few days for those that are ripe. Mine turn from green to slightly yellow.
Step 2: Once ½ to ⅔ are ripe that you (haven’t eaten), gently wash them up in the sink removing any bad spots. If you have the kitchen aid sieve attachment, you don’t need to core the pears. If not, peal, quarter, and core the pears. The sieve attachment is well worth the time saved.
Step 3: Cook the pears. If you want to prevent darkening, dip pears in lemon juice or citric acid. I don’t mind the darker color, so I skip this step. When cooking I used my smaller pan that the colander fits into. This allows me to simply remove the pears, without having to fish them out of the water. Cook until the pears are soft and mushy. This is about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Puree the pears by running them through the kitchen aid sieve, or using an immersion blender if you peeled and cord the pears. You could also use a food processor or blender
Any more white than this and you are loosing to much of the pear. Cook them a little longer to soften them. Peal and core should be the main thing you see coming out this end.
Step 5: cook the sauce down. Return the pear sauce to the stock pot, bringing to a simmer until desired consistency is reached. Stir the pot regularly to prevent sticking/burning the bottom.
Step 6: Fill the jars! Fill hot jars leaving ½ inch headspace.
Step 7. De-bubble the jars by running a long spatula or knife along the edge or the jar. Wipe the rim clean. Do NOT forget this step. Jars with bubbles can explode in the water bath. Sauce on the rims will keep the jars from sealing properly.
Step 8. Lids. Rinse the, one time use, canning lids in hot water. This is new compared to older lids which you needed to boil first. Then set them on the jar and attach the rings down. Do not over tighten the rings, a quick tight twist will do before you burn your fingers on the hot jar.
If you are using reusable lids you will want to boil the seals and follow the instructions from the manufacturer. I purchased some from Tattler at www.reusablecanninglids.com.
If the jar is too hot to grab you can use a lid tighter as shown to help.
Step 9. Place jars (pint or quart) in a hot water bath. Wait for boiling and then set the timer for 20 minutes.
Step 10. Remove jars from the hot water bath and allow to cool completely. Check the lids to make sure the jars are sealed. Remove rings, label and store. For one time use lids, the bubble should be down and not pop up. For reusable lids, gently pick them up by the lid (it's terrifying the first few times), if the lid holds, the seal is good.
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