Fall is a busy time of canning applesauce and freezing pumpkin. But don’t forget about preserving pears! With a short season and a busy schedule use this guide to stock your pantry with pear sauce before the pears are gone.
I’m a big fan of hardy produce. You know, the kind that can sit on the counter or in the fridge for weeks and still be OK? Like carrots, potatoes, apples, rutabaga, parsnips, cauliflower, and cabbage.
I love all kinds of fruits and veggies. But some of them are a bit demanding.
One day an avocado is not quite ripe. The next day it’s mushy.
The same goes for pears. You check and check for ripeness. Then all of a sudden you’ve missed the window and they over ripe.
Personally, I like to be in control instead of my produce. But it just doesn’t work that way for everything.
So I always get anxious when it’s pear season. I want to preserve them. But I just don’t have time any old day. Will I time it just right? Will I be stuck peeling hard pears? Or will I let them go too far because we were busy with soccer and band?
It’s a gamble.
I try to do a fair amount of canning each fall. How much I do depends on my kids’ ages and how I’m feeling.
Regardless, I don’t like to spend hours on end in the kitchen each day to keep up with produce preservation.
How to Can Pears
I already take the easy route when it comes to canning peaches. That is a life saver!
Then I get to pears. There is really no way around it.
Canning pears takes a lot of time.
Lots of peeling and slicing (especially if the pears are small). It can take up to sixty pears just to do one round of canning! That is a lot of peeling.
So I stopped doing it years ago. Much to my husband’s disappointment. I just don’t have time.
But I still want to preserve this amazing fruit to enjoy it all winter.
How to Can Pears Without Sugar
Enter pear sauce.
It is just like applesauce but with pears. Honestly, I would take pear sauce any day over applesauce. It is that good.
There is no need to add any sweetener as pears are plenty sweet on their own.
The other thing you don’t have to do – peel them!
Preserving pears is quite easy when you can just wash, quarter, cook and puree. Then either can or freeze the pear sauce.
Pear Sauce for Baby
One of the reasons I love having pearsauce on hand is that it makes a super easy first food for little ones six months and up. You can serve it plain or turn it into a nutrient dense baby porridge. Warm the pear sauce slightly and mix in coconut oil and an egg yolk. Stir and serve!
My big kids love pear sauce too! Sometimes I even make it extra special by adding strawberries, raspberries or blueberries from our freezer stash. As they melt and let off juice it colors the pearsauce and adds an extra burst of flavor.
Serve it cold. Serve it warm with a pinch of cinnamon. Add it to oatmeal. Mix it in yogurt.
You really can’t go wrong. You also don’t need to spend days on end making pear sauce.
Pear Sauce Canning
Here is my busy mom’s solution to preserving pears. I am able to work through a half bushel in one day (with four young kids, including a nursing little one) and still manage to do our school work, go to activities, and get healthy meals on the table.
It only takes about twenty minutes to wash and slice one batch of pears. Then you can let it cook for a bit while you tend to something else. Being able to make pear sauce in steps is so handy!
A full batch (seven quarts) takes about 30 – 35 medium to large pears. So figure out how many jars you’d like to can and then figure out how many pears you need. I usually get one bushel of pears. It makes three rounds of pear sauce with some pears left over for eating fresh.
Pear sauce makes a great alternative to applesauce. Variety is key to any diet, especially if you are implementing a rotation diet for food allergies. So this is a nice change of pace! My kids actually prefer it over applesauce.
Have you ever tried preserving pears? I encourage you to try pearsauce!
Are you new to canning? Check out my step-by-step tutorial to get you going.
What to do With Extra Pears
Depending on the size of the pears and the quantity you buy, sometimes you end up with a pile of extra pears. And like I said before, they can go from almost ripe to mush pretty quickly. So what do you do with those extra pears?
Of course you can eat them fresh! Pears are a sweet treat on their own. But you can only eat so many. Here are a few other options for using up extra ripe pears.
- pear butter
- frozen pears
- pear lime jello salad
- gluten-free pear muffins
- gluten-free pear crisp
- pear fruit leather
- pear pancake topping
- spiced pear ice cream
Homemade Pear Sauce Recipe
Homemade Canned Pear Sauce
- 30 - 40 medium ripe pears
- 1 cup water
Making Pear Sauce
Wash pears (this can be done in a clean sink full of water).
Add 1 cup water to a large stockpot and turn on high heat.
Quarter and core pears, placing them in the stockpot as you go.
Adjust heat to simmer and cook the pears until soft, stirring periodically, about 15 minutes.
In batches puree the cooked pears and their juice in a high-powered blender until smooth.
Freezing Pear Sauce
Chill the pear sauce.
Put the pear sauce in freezer-safe containers.
Label and freeze for up to a year.
Canning Pear Sauce
Return the pureed pear sauce to the stockpot and keep warm.
Prepare the water bath canner (filled with water and jars and get the jars hot).
Ladle the hot pear sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.
Wipe the rims of jars and place the lids and bands on.
Can in hot water bath for 30 minutes (quarts) or 25 minutes (pints).
Remove the canner lid and let the jars sit for 5 minutes.
Remove jars from the canner and place on a towel to cool, untouched for 8 hours.
- One batch of pear sauce makes 6-7 quarts or 12-14 pints.
- A half-bushel of pears will make 2 rounds of pear sauce, with a few pears left for eating fresh.
This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.