Friday, September 23, 2011

It must be September - First Day of Autumn!

Thank you Lord!
September ushers in a wonderful supply of pears waiting to be made into delicious pear preserves. Making pear preserves is an annual event in our household. It is time consuming but worth the effort.  You can't buy pear preserves at the grocery in our part of the country.  Are they available in your area?

The supplies are gathered.  Wide mouth pint canning jars.

Aren't these just the cutest half pint squatty canning jars?  I can see them filled with all kinds of goodies other than food.  Beads and buttons come to mind.

To make the tedious job of peeling and slicing interesting, I always try to peel each pear in one big long peeling.  It's fun to see if I can do it!  Once peeled, the pears are sliced in thin slices.

Sugar is then added and mixed well.  I usually do 8 cups of sliced pears and 2 cups of sugar.

Start cooking, bring to a nice slow boil and cook for a couple of hours or until pears just begin to turn pink and translucent.  You have to stir frequently during the cooking process or these sweet morsels will burn.  This is not a time to multi-task!  They need a constant watchful eye. Ask me how I know...

Have your supplies on hand and ready for the canning process.  Steralize your jars BEFORE the pears are ready to can.  You will need a ladel, a funnel, a magnetic thingy to get the jar lids/rims out of the hot boiling water, your jars and lids/rings.  THIS STUFF IS HOT SO BE CAREFUL!  Ladel the pears and syrup into the jar, make sure the rim of the jar is clean.  Put on the hot jar lid and then the ring.  Just barely tighten the ring.

When you are finished with all of the pears, place a cover over the jars and let them cool naturally.  Such good eating with hot buttered biscuits and sausage on cool Autumn/Winter mornings.  They are also delicious in the Spring/Summer if you have any left by then.  Enjoy!

Did your jars seal after they cooled?
You can feel the top of the lid.  If it makes a noise when you gently press on the lid, it did not seal well.  If your jar did not seal, these preserves need to be refrigerated and eaten before opening the sealed jars.  I have heard they will last in the fridge for several weeks but ours don't last that long so I can't say for sure.