Monday, August 23, 2010

Christmas Project: Canning Pearsauce

The pear tree at my sister's house was overflowing.  I got the call and ran out with K- to pick.  With four extra little bodies, we picked a Rubbermaidish tote half way full.  That should be enough!
The tool that made most of it happen.  This is my apple/corer/peeler/slicer.  (Obviously, this is during use.  Don't think I keep it gross like this in the cupboard, please!)  Now, to do pears on the ACPS, it's a bit trickier.  These were pears that were a little misshapen, so their cores didn't exactly always go through the middle of the pear.  Some were rather wonky.  The peel didn't always peel off either.  That's okay.  I tossed it all in the pot.  It's a little extra fiber, right?
Pack the Crock Pot full, put it on low (or in the case of this one where Keep Warm is more like low) and go to bed.  I actually had another big Crock Pot going just like this.
The two Crock Pots combined cooked down to this.  I added some brown sugar, cinnamon and pure vanilla extract to taste.  I can't give you a recipe, but I can tell you that I also used Bartlett Pears.  Toss and taste.  Toss and taste.  Just make sure to use a new spoon each time you taste.  When you can, you can never be too careful.  With this one, sight isn't going to tell you what it is going to taste like. 
Don't forget to put your jars in your canner to sterilize before you start everything else.  It takes forever and a day to get this puppy boiling.  You can toss a dash of vinegar in the water to keep the glass from getting the occasional fog thing.  (I read that it can do that from the canning pot and I have had that happen.  This time, the glass stayed crystal clear.)
This is when the staff photographer, K-, stepped in.  She wanted to watch, so I let her take pictures.  Yes, I did crop some, but she did a great job.  Here I have my jar filling funnel and the almighty jar grabbing tongs. 
Start filling!
Here comes the lid while suspended from the handy-dandy little magnetic lid grabber.  (Remember that the kitchen is still being painted and spiffed, so excuse the giant basket of snackies and crackers.) 
All filled and ready to go back into the canner to be processed.
Here they are in their hot bath ready to have the lid dropped back down.  Once the water boils, I start to time the processing.  I allowed these to process for 20 minutes.  Is that longer than what I should?  Probably.  I think that these would be 16 minutes or so, but I would rather go a hair longer and not risk losing any of my hard work.
Here we are.  4 quarts and 5 pints.  Christmas gifts for my family.  I didn't get to do pearsauce last year and when I got the call about pears from my sister on Friday, I knew that I had to go.  When you get the call, it is like the call that your best friend is in labor.  If you don't go right then, you are going to miss it!  Pears don't hold long.  At least not the unsprayed and old tree variety. 

Whenever you can pearsauce (or applesauce), you can never stick to a hardcore recipe as the ripeness varies.  Just stick to the same ingredients and tweak it until it tastes right.  Generally, I like to put some craisins in (nice color), but I didn't have any this year.  My sister told me not to run out for them.  She said that she was sure that it would be just grand without.

That was my big accomplishment this weekend! 

Smiles in my weekend:
-  My people decided to celebrate the changing o' the digits with me a day early.  They woke me on Sunday morning with a Dairy Queen cake in hand.  K- bought me some lovely jewelry.  Hubs bought me a Butterflies of Ohio book (which came in real handy since K- and I were able to see and capture a picture of the rare-to-us Variegated Fritillary on Saturday), the Blu-Ray disc of Ferris Bueller's Day off and a gift certificate to the A. I. Root Candle Company.  They took me to The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and to spend my gift certificate at Root.  (They have an outlet and I totally scored on huge jar candles!  Tangerine Lemongrass, English Lavender, Oceana and Amaryllis & Orange in the 22 oz Queen Bee Jars.  600 hours worth of candle burning!  :)!!!!! )  To end the trip, Hubs stopped by my favorite Chinese restaurant and we got some take-out.  It was a wonderful day!

Have a great day!


Rach said...

Your assistant did an EXCELLENT job on the photography. :o) I'm ready to dive head first into a jar of that pearsauce. :oP

Ahhh, seeing all the canning photos has brought back SO many memories from my childhood and canning in a steamy-hot kitchen with my mama. Thanks for that. :o)

Bailey's Leaf said...

When I asked mom about canning on her glass top stove, she reported that she hasn't done so on this one, but the last one she did quite a bit.

Steamy-hot is right. I admit that I did have the AC running, as it was rather hot and very humid outside. Opening a window wasn't helping to relieve the hot and steamy!

Glad that I could take you on that trip down memory lane. And yes, K- did an awesome job! I was really rather proud of her. She was really getting into it, too. She started using the zoom, was moving her step stool all around (I confined her to the step stool to keep from getting underfoot) and that is how she got the "in the pot" pictures. I think that we to keep that in mind when helping Santa with gift giving this year.

Jamie said...

Looks delish. Have never had "pearsauce" but I'll have to try it sometime. I'll do essentially the same with apples in a month or so.