Making Pear Sauce is a great alternative to applesauce when you have an abundance of pears, and tastes just as sweet even with no sugar added! My guys actually prefer pear sauce to apple sauce, so I try to make a lot of it.
The procedure is similar to canning sliced pears, with just a couple of key differences. Here’s my favorite pear sauce canning recipe. You may sweeten it to taste, though I never need to add any sugar.
What Kind of Pears to Use For Pear Sauce?
When it comes to pear sauce, Bartlett pears are the perfect type of fruit to use. They are naturally sweet and have a smooth texture that makes them easy to puree. Plus, Bartlett pears are widely available and relatively inexpensive, so you can make pear sauce without breaking the bank.
While bartlett pears are the ideal choice for pear sauce, you can also use other types of pears with good results.
Just keep in mind that some varieties of pears, such as bosc or d’Anjou, can be a bit tart, so you may need to add a little extra sugar to the recipe. Ultimately, the best pear sauce is made with the fruit that you enjoy eating the most.
No matter the type of pears you use, know that pears are a great fruit for canning because they are high in pectin, which helps the sauce to thicken and set up properly.
In addition, pears have a delicate flavor that is enhanced by the canning process. If you are using fresh pears, be sure to select ones that are ripe but still firm.
Avoid pears that are bruised or overripe, as they will not hold up well during the canning process.
Once you have your pears, give them a good wash and then peel and core them.
Pear sauce is a great place to start if you’re new to canning, as it only requires a few ingredients, and is relatively forgiving if you make a mistake.
The most important thing to remember when making pear sauce is not to alter the ratio of lemon juice to pears, as this can affect the safety of the canned product.
Other than that, feel free to experiment with different spices and flavorings. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are all great choices for pear sauce.
Cleaning The Jars
You can use pints or quarts, wide mouth or regular, whatever suits you best. I can pear sauce in quart jars. My four kids will kill a whole quart of sauce in a single snack break, so it’s best for me to save the lids and go with the bigger sized jar.
You can also wash the jars by hand, and then submerge the jars into a large pot of boiling water to keep hot and sanitized.
Sometimes I will also put clean jars into a hot oven (set at around 250 F / 121 C, then turn off) and let them sit in there to keep hot until I’m ready to use them.
A bushel of pears weighs about 50 pounds and will yield between 20 and 24 quarts of canned pear sauce. You will need 3 pounds of pears per quart jar, so a full canner load of 7 quart jars would be 21 pounds.
Pear Sauce Recipe
- 1 stock pot large
- Canning jars
- canning lids
- Jar lifter
- lid lifter
- peeler optional
- melon scooper optional
- melon scooper or food mill
- 3 lbs. pears or 21 lbs. for a full canner load
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup water
- First, wash your pears.
- Then peel the pears.
- Remove any bad spots from the fruit.
- Slice, cut out the hard pit section, then chop into small-ish pieces.
- In the meantime, make sure you have some mason jars cleaned, sanitized and HOT. The easiest way to do this is to run them through the dishwasher.
- Once you have all of your pears peeled and cut up, put them into a large pot. Fill it with just enough water to keep the pears from scorching (an inch or so in the bottom of the pot), then cover and cook over medium or medium/low heat, or a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pears are thoroughly soft.
- The next step is to puree the pears. I use a food strainer but you could also use an immersion blender.
- Return the pureed pears to the pot. Taste to see if you need to add any sugar, though like I said I never have to sweeten it at all. Bring the pear sauce to a gentle boil.
- While that’s heating, have your lids simmering in a small pot of water (not boiling!). You can see I have some jars in boiling water here as well, waiting to be used.
- Once the pear sauce reaches a light boil, continue boiling as you fill the hot jars one at a time. Stir the sauce every now and then to prevent burning.
- Start filling the jars with a ladle, and leave 1/2 inch headspace (fill the jars to within 1/2″ from the rim). After adding the pears, add the lemon juice and hot water.
- Use a wet rag to wipe the rim of the jar clean. It’s important to wipe rims to make sure the pear mixture didn’t get all over the outside of the jar, which can affect canning safety.I usually dip a clean paper towel in the simmering lid water and run it over the rim after wiping, just to make sure there isn’t anything sticky still there.
- Remove any air bubbles.
- Now you’re ready to put the lid on. Using a lid lifter, retrieve a hot lid from the simmering water.
- Next, place the lid on the jar…
- Now screw on a clean ring to tighten down the lid…
- Once all of your jars are filled and sealed, place them in a water canner . Fill the canner with enough water to cover the jars with 1-2″ of water. Put the lid on the canner, and bring to a steady rolling boil.
- Continue to process pints or quarts at a steady boil for a processing time of 20 minutes. Once the time is up, use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the water bath canner.
- Allow the jars to cool overnight, preferably on a rack.
- After about 24 hours, remove the rings from the jars and try to pry the lids off with your fingers. If they do not come off, they’ve sealed and are safe to store.If a lid does come off you can either put the jar in the fridge to be eaten soon, or if you really want to store it up, you can pour the sauce back into a pot and put it over again in a new jar, with a new lid.
- You can save the peels and cores (those without insect damage or bad spots) to use to make pear jelly!
Don’t forget to write the date and contents on the lid with a sharpie. Pear Sauce will stay fresh for up to a year before the taste, texture and nutrients begin to diminish. That is not to say they won’t be safe to eat, they just won’t be as good as they were within that first year.
Before putting your jars up, remove the rings from the lids. Over time, these can corrode and become hard to remove, so it’s best to store jars without them.
If at any point a lid unseals on its own (not likely to happen, but possible), the contents have been compromised and are no longer safe to eat.
Could You Make This Pear Mixture in a Pressure Canner?
While you could make pear sauce in a pressure canner, it’s not recommended. The high pressure and heat can cause the pears to become mushy, and they may also froth and block the canner vent. If you’re looking for the best results, stick to water-bath canning.
Not sold on pear sauce – or looking for other recipe ideas?
If you find yourself with a surplus of pears, one option is to make pear butter. This dish is similar to apple butter, but it has a unique flavor that is perfect for the fall season. To make pear butter, simply simmer pears in water until they are soft, then puree them and add sugar and spice to taste. Once you’ve prepared your pear butter, it can be enjoyed on toast, used as a filling for pies or pastries, or simply eaten on its own as a delicious treat.
Other ideas for using up extra pears include baking them into pies or cobblers, using them as a topping for yogurt or ice cream, or cooking them down into a jam or preserves. The possibilities are endless, so get creative and enjoy your extra pears in new and delicious ways!
There are many ways to enjoy your homemade pear sauce. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Serve it as a dip with crackers or veggie sticks.
- Stir it into oatmeal or yogurt.
- Use it as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.
- Add it to PB&J sandwiches.
- Spread it on toast or muffins.
- Mix it into cake or cookie batter for a fruity twist.
- Enjoy it as a healthy snack straight from the spoon!
The answer is that it depends on the recipe. Some recipes will call for lemon juice, while others won’t. In most cases, like with this recipe, adding lemon juice is a smart choice because it will ensure that the pear sauce is adequately acidic for canning.
Pears can be stored in a cool, dark place such as a cellar or pantry. If you have ripe pears, they can be placed in a plastic bag with a little moisture, such as a damp paper towel, and stored in the refrigerator.
Pears will continue to ripen after they are picked, so if you want to enjoy them at their peak of sweetness, it is best to wait a few days before eating them. Once pears are ripe, they can be stored in the freezer for up to six months or they can be canned.
Canning pears with the skin still intact can help to retain the fruit’s flavor and nutrients. The key is to use a light hand when peeling the pears.
A thin layer of skin will help to protect the fruit from bruising during the canning process. When making homemade pear sauce, it’s recommended that you peel the pears for a better texture, however.
Canning pears is a relatively simple process, and they can be canned in either water bath or pressure canner. Water bath canning is the most common method and is preferred by most home canning recipes.
Have you ever tried pear sauce? Have a tip to share?
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.