Last week when we were apple picking at Eddy’s Fruit Farm, I ordered 2 bushels of pears. This equates to about 96 pounds of pears or two large boxes. They were kind enough to store them for me until we returned from our Maryland/Delaware trip.
This week, I spent many hours processing pears. The result was 19 quarts of sauce and 5 quarts of chunks to store in our can cupboard. In addition, we have 2 quarts of sauce in the fridge, have consumed a quart of sauce and a quart of chunks and have eaten 2 dozen pears. I also have about 6 quarts of pear juice that I plan to make into jelly. I froze it for a rainy day project.
Here’s a closer look.
This was my first year processing pears. I definitely learned a lot. Two bushels of canning pears is a huge amount of pears. Canning pears could also be called seconds. There’s nothing wrong with the pears. I thought these were really nice pears. They are however more varied in size and have odd dimples and blemishes that you probably wouldn’t normally see.
I really like canned pears. I set out to make as much chunks as possible. We only ended up with 5 quarts of them. There are several reasons for this. Chunks take much more time for processing than sauce. The pears need to be ripe, but not too ripe to make chunks. I was not expecting to have to wait several days for the pears to be ripe enough to can. I’m a lazy canner.
Stephen helped me sort/test pears for ripeness every day. Every day but Thursday, I canned at least one load. I loosely pealed the pear with a paring knife, used a round measuring spoon to core them, and chopped the chunks. The chunks went into lemon water and the rest went into a crock pot. The skins, core, and other parts of the pears were cooked until soft and then were put through the food mill to become sauce. The chunks were canned in a light honey syrup. This method worked well since there is minimal waste.
Many pears went from not ripe enough to too ripe for chunks, most of the pears were made into sauce.
Nick and Sally LOVE the sauce. It will be a hit this winter and spring. I’d probably do two bushels again, but I would only buy one bushel at a time. For 3 days this week, we ate in the dining room and the kids had picnic breakfast.