Sunday, September 21, 2014

Adventures in Canning: Pears...

and some things I learned.

  • Pears do not ripen well on the tree and are picked unripened. They will ripen after picking by leaving them on your kitchen counter.

  • To tell if a pear is ripe, press gently on the pear right next to the stem. If it is soft, the pear is ripe.

  • Stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, etc) will not continue to ripen after picking.  Ripening indicates a build up of more sugar in the fruit which will not happen with stone fruit.  All they'll do is get softer, not riper, after picking.  

  • Unfortunately, peaches, like tomatoes, are bred for shipping with thicker skins and are picked when still hard.  Now you know why your peaches become mealy after sitting on the counter.

  • You can easily peel pears by blanching them in hot water for about 30 seconds and then putting them in cold water just like you do with tomatoes and peaches. I used a serrated paring knife to scrape off the peel. 

  •  Hot packing definitely helps prevent "float."

  • You cannot discreetly pass gas sitting in a office chair with  a mesh seat. Oooops - wrong post. Sorry.

The first two batches of pears before I was ready to drop dead of exhaustion.  These were carefully hot packed by heating in hot syrup.

After reaching the "Dear God, is this almost over" stage, I was not as careful heating the pears in syrup.  I ran short on my last jar and was frantically peeling and cramming pears into the not yet full jars.  Notice the float?

I ended up with 14 pints and 5 quarts of pears from one box.  I dearly love canned pears and cottage cheese with a whole bunch of pepper on top.  I know.  I'm weird...

Next up?  Nothing for awhile. 

 Oh, wait.  

There's some beets in the fridge waiting to be pickled.


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