Preserving slices of pears are an easy way to learn the basics of preserving larger pieces of fruit. They don’t require peeling (although many will argue that this will make them more tender), are easy to core and the process is simple.
Like most fruit, pears can be preserved in water or other fruit juice. I prefer to preserve them in a light syrup which slightly extends their shelf life, keeps them sweet and meets my personal preference. The addition of whisky (and how lucky were we to find one from Toronto?) is purely optional although the pears really do like to indulge in a little tipple.
- Pears – cleaned and quartered, core removed. If you’re worried about them browning, toss the cut pieces in a bit of lemon juice (I tend to work fast and skip the lemon). 6 pounds will make about 5 pints.
- Light Syrup (dissolve 3/4 cups of sugar in 6.5 cups of water – or 10% by weight). This will make enough for approximately 9 pints of pears; I tend to make a bit extra in case I’ve measured my pears wrong.
- 1 tablespoon of whisky per jar (this will be added at the end so none will be wasted)
- Bring simple syrup to a boil.
- Carefully place pear slices in the boiling solution. Wait 5 minutes.
- While still hot, add pears to clean, sterile pint jars. Top with syrup and gently move jar to release any air bubbles (I use oven mitts).
- Add 1 tablespoon of Whisky per jar.
- Add liquid to leave a 1/2 inch headspace.
- Process pints for 20 minutes in a hot-water bath.
Next year I’m going to try this same recipe with a few cloves tossed in and see how that goes.