Dad has a coworker who has a pear tree–and she offers Mom the pears every year.
This year, Mom had plenty of pears already, so she didn’t need anymore.
But our family never refuses free food :-) and Mom and Dad would rather the coworker (who is an older woman) NOT being trying to climb the tree. So they went and picked the tree for her. They ended up with two boxes of pears–some little and some big.
Mom figured one of the kids would be pleased to take the extra pears off her hands.
And one–well actually two–of us were.
Daniel got the big ones to can as halves or slices. I took the little ones to make pear-sauce with. (Debbie was right yesterday!)
Never heard of pear-sauce? Just think applesauce only with pears.
To make pear-sauce, you first need to rinse off all your pears.
You’ll want to cut each pear in half. Remove any worm holes or bruised spots. There’s no need to peel, or core, or even stem these.
Stick all of your pears in a big stockpot or something similar, add some water, and heat it all up. You’ll want to heat it until the pears are all nice and soft.
Now, you’ll need to get out your “squitter”–more technically known as a sauce maker or food strainer. These are not the most common of kitchen appliances, but they come in handy if you plan on doing any amount of home canning. My family makes large quantities of applesauce and tomato juice using our “squitter”. A “squitter” can also come in handy if you’ve got babies and want to make your own baby food to freeze.
Dump your hot pears into the top basket of the squitter (I used a slotted spoon to transfer the pears so I wouldn’t get a whole lot of extra liquid in the sauce.) Then turn the crank. You can see that the pulpy parts of the pear come out one spout while sauce comes out the other. Continue cranking and refilling as necessary until your sauce is done.
Now you’re ready to fill the jars. Use a canning funnel if you have one and fill your canning jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Run a spatula or knife along the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Then wipe the upper rim of the jar, place a new canning lid on top, and screw a ring on to hold it tight.
Now, you’re ready to process your pear-sauce. You can process it in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes–or you can go the easy way out :-) and pressure process it for five minutes at five pounds pressure.
Now you can eat sugar-free, preservative-free pear-sauce any time you want!
(I like to mix mine with plain yogurt and eat it for breakfast.)