Just a quick post today to show you a few pictures of my canning adventure from a few weeks ago. You may remember that I mentioned having pears from some of our free produce. However, I never showed you how it turned out! I ended up making diced pears and pear sauce.
I didn't take any pictures of the case of pears that we got or of me peeling the pears. So sorry, but it would not have been too exciting anyway. Just know that it was a wooden case with Argentina stamped on it and the pears were all wrapped in green tissue paper. Can you believe these pears came all the way from Argentina? Crazy how far our food travels. There were some good ones to eat and a bunch of them that were really yucky. The majority were somewhere in between! I wanted to can diced pears, but knew that many of the pears would be best suited for sauce. I kept a big measuring cup with some lemon juice water next to the cutting board and threw any dices that were fairly firm in there. The rest of the pears were chunked up and put in my enameled cast iron pot which also had a bit of lemon juice water to prevent discoloration. You can see the diced pears waiting patiently in the picture below.
After I cooked the softer pears down a bit I used my Kitchen Aid Hand Blender to puree it to a smooth consistency. This blender was not a frugal find, but it was a gift from my husband and it is well used and loved!
The next step for the sauce was the addition of cinnamon. Did you know that most cinnamon in the US is not actually from the bark of a cinnamon tree? It is Cassia. Not sure what that is all about, but it tastes good! Penzeys Spices are wonderful and flavorful. The company is headquartered right down the road from where I work. Again, not really frugal, but I have a wonderful friend who gives me a gift box of some spices every year for Christmas. I love it!
I ended up with 3 pints of diced pears canned in a light syrup. These were cooked in the syrup for 10 minutes and then water bath processed for 15 minutes. Exactly 4 quarts of pear sauce is what a full enameled cast iron pot holds! These were water bathed for 25 minutes. It was not a hard process and will give us yummy fruit options this winter when pears are $50 a pound...just kidding, but you get the point I'm sure.
Anyone out there canning anything yet? I'm learning a lot and learning fast. I love it and I'd love to hear your adventures.