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I’m into hot water … bath canning. :)  This is my third year canning and it is as satisfying as ever. This year has been especially “fruitful” with the Asian pear tree in our backyard producing I am not even sure how many pounds, probably about 30#. The plum tree also really out did itself with about 60 cups (yes, they are all chopped). Seems to produce every other year.  We also waged war on the blackberries next store but not until we made some jam! Yum.   Below I would like to share some photos of the bounty and some pictures of the process.

This year’s big canning lesson is about siphoning and why you should follow the directions that say to leave them in the canner for so many more  minutes after they are done processing.  I tried out a new brand of jars this year (Leifheit) in addition to the Ball and Bormioli Rocco. They seemed to be leaking or boiling over when I would remove them from their hot water bath. Turns out that they were siphoning, which occurs when when liquid is drawn out of the jar by a rapid change in temperature and air pressure. It seemed to happen in the Leifheit jars, but they always had pears in wine sauce (so more the saucy part than jar type). You need to let them sit and finish the seal then remove. Ah hah! I still think the Leifheit were more prone to it, as I haven’t had this issue in the past with the wine sauce recipe in ball jars, and I never let them sit in the canner, before this year.

Pears in Wine Sauce – adapted from The Joy of Jams and Jellies (L. Ziedrich)

  • 3 cups red wine (aka one bottle) – recommend not too tannic, I just use what is around the house and not spendy
  • ~ 3/4 cup sugar
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • 4 lbs pears

Makes about 2 quarts, but not super specific. I recommend pint jars, enough for about 3-4 servings with ice cream.

- Peal, core and slice pears. I use a  melon baller for easy and nice looking coring. Also, sometimes I leave a stem on for decoration.

- Bring wine, sugar and cinnamon to a boil. Add pears and let them poach for ~ 15 minutes. With Asian pears they don’t really get soft, but you would want to watch that with other types

- Transfer the pears into the jars. then add in liquid. Pack them in. Using big and small pear slices help. Some are full halves, others quarter or smaller pears. Leave about 1/2 inch head space.

- Process in hot water bath for 25 minutes. Let sit in canner with heat off for 5 minutes or so (to prevent SIPHONING).

As you can see, I don’t have a true canner. I use a large seafood stock pot and on the bottom  I put one of those stainless steel veggie steamer on the bottom.

This recipe is very tasty and a great gift. To serve heat up sauce and pears, reduce wine if you like, and serve with ice cream. My mother also apparently made an entree with them and an acorn squash…. This year I made some with white wine. Haven’t tasted them yet but I must say the red ones are just prettier… :) I’ll update once we try the white wine version.

Other treats – pear jam, savory plum sauce, crock pot plum butter, tomatillo salsa!

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