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Monday, 5 December 2011

Preserved Pears in Syrup

Time to finish off the pears
I had lots of pears this year, not just mine which amounted to a few (we have lots of tree's but they need attention) but our neighbours tree just kept dropping them. Nigel also harvested a load, as they were not going to. I wish I had filled a barrel every day with the fallen pears as we would have a lovely load of makings for Rakia! Next year there will be a barrel waiting :-)
My freezer has been full so I couldn't keep cooking cakes, so it has been a gradual process. I have made upside down cakes galore & a huge frangipane. I decided to preserve a couple of jars for later use leaving just enough for some individual pear tarts, to be blogged later.
This makes a nice light but sweet syrupy preserve, also its not too cooked so will hold its shape for tarts & not be too squidgy & wet for cakes. I have only preserved two jars as I will be using them soon. They will be stored in the fridge
So here is the my way of preserving our pears.........
Citric acid or Lemon juice
Clean & sterilised glass jars
Peel, core & slice, or chop, the pears, into whatever size you want. I am going to use them for tarts so sliced mine. In a saucepan fill with water add sugar I used 6 tbsp for 2 jars. Stir till the sugar is dissolved & place pears into this. Bring to a boil then simmer for a while. You want the liquid to get very hot but don't want to cook the pears too much so keep it short. It is all guess work! The more sugar the sweeter & more syrupy your preserve will be, so this is very much up to your taste.
Meanwhile heat the jars in an oven 120c 20 mins to sterilise them, pour boiling water over the lids. When you are ready, carefully remove jars from the oven & put one tsp of citric acid into the jars. Spoon the pears in careful not to break them & then top up with the syrup. Fasten the lids to jars as soon as possible. The very hot mixture & the very hot jars will cause them to seal.  Give the jars a gentle shake to mix in the citric acid.
You will hear the lids popping as they cool down & you will see when you push the top of the lid there is no popping or movement. This is how you know the jar is sealed properly. 
The Village way of preserving for a long period is........
Half fill the jar with pears. Spoon in 6 tbsp sugar in each jar & fill to top with water, place lids on jars & shake to dissolve the sugar.
Place a cloth across the bottom of a very large pan & place the jars in. Top up the pan with water to lid level & bring to the boil. Boil for 20 mins.
Now you can either take out the jars very carefully & place somewhere to cool down or leave them in situation to cool over night.
These will store for a year or two in a cool dark place.

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