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I was able to get a good deal on some boxes of peaches and pears from Utah! So, this past week Lindsey, Maddy, my friend Betty and I did some canning at Lindsey's house. We did the peaches on one day and the pears 2 days later. We caught them both at their optimum ripeness!
I've already shared with you how to can peaches on this post. But, I want to share a couple of new things we did this time around. I've been canning for a long time, but this dog can always learn new tricks!
Every year, when I start to can something, I always refer to the National Center for Home Food Preparation, or NCHFP, to find out if there have been any changes or new developments in canning safety. Sure enough, this time there were some changes that I want to make you aware of before giving you my recipe for delicious Spiced Pears!
First of all, they have found that white fleshed peaches are not safe to can! White fleshed peaches are not acidic enough for water bath canning nor is there a method for pressure canning them. The best way to preserve them is to freeze them! Luckily our peaches were yellow!
Secondly, and I don't know if I just overlooked this before, but the site mentions that Hot packing peaches and pears will give you a better product than raw packing them... Now that one was a shocker to me because my raw packed peaches have always been delicious!
From what I learned upon researching that assertion, the problem they have found is that the fruit shrinks during the processing in the water bath. This causes them to rise up tightly in the jar leaving a lot of liquid at the bottom. Then, when the fruit falls, the liquid may not cover all of the fruit and the part of the fruit not covered can turn brown, although it is still safe to eat. Hmmm...
So, we decided to test out this idea when we canned our peaches.
Hot Pack Process
The Hot Pack process involves making your light syrup as usual but then adding the fruit to it and allowing it to come to a boil all together before adding the fruit and liquid to the jars. Then, leaving a 1/2 to 1 inch headspace and removing the bubbles, add the lids and process as usual.
To test this out, we did our sliced peaches the hot pack way. But, we noticed that there still was lift as the jars were sealed, but maybe not quite as much because we were able to fit more peaches into a jar. Then, I did some quarts of peach halves and then made sure that I really packed them in. Also, I carefully measured the headspace, removed the bubbles and added more boiling syrup as needed. By being more precise, I didn't notice a big difference in the amount of lift in my raw pack jars to my hot pack jars. So, frankly, I am probably going to stick with my raw pack method because it is easier, but be more careful to pack tightly, measure headspace carefully and to get those bubbles out.
Now Let's Talk About Canning Pears!
The process of canning pears is a bit simpler than peaches because you don't have to blanch them first to get the skins off. You can simply peel them with a potato peeler! It was so great having many hands doing the work together because one of us peeled, one of us sliced and cored and one of us filled the jars and kept an eye on the syrup and everything else! (We had 3 people working each day as Betty and Maddy came one day each!)
After our experience with hot packing the peaches, we decided to stick with raw packing the pears. As you can see in the picture above, there wasn't a lot of lift after the jars were processed. I made sure to :
While I was doing research about the hot pack, raw pack thing, I kept seeing ways to add other ingredients to your peaches and pears when you can them. One thing I saw was cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in the pear jars and I thought that they looked pretty! I decided to try it with a few of our jars just to see how they turned out.
Honestly, I was just guessing on the amount of spice to add to the jar. I didn't add any additional spices to the syrup. I was concerned that the spice taste wouldn't come through. But, I was wrong! These pears are so delicious! They taste just like Fall and I wish that I had done all of the jars like this! I am tempted to buy more pears just to be able to can more spiced ones! These are the type of things that make canning so enjoyable!
What a simple change and now these are my favorite canned fruit of all time I think. I know you will love them too!
Check out these other canning recipes and tips:
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!