These are recipes for the pear preserves I make every year that we have pears on our trees. I hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as we do.

Pear Preserves

Pears

8-cups sugar

1 lemon

Peel, core and thinly slice (less than 1/4-inch each slice) enough pears to fill a Dutch oven. Thinly slice lemon; cut slices in half or quarters and remove seeds. Cover pears with 8-cups (4 lbs.) sugar. Pears, lemon, and sugar can be layered in Dutch oven, half and half.

Next day, the sugar will be melted and pears will be covered with liquid. Stir to make sure sugar is not stuck to bottom of pan.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer and cook until pears and syrup are a shiny amber color and syrup drops from a metal spoon dipped in it in 2 drops not one drop. This takes 3-4 hours. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 5 pints.

Canned Pears

Pears

Fresh Fruit

Thin syrup

Read directions through before cooking.

Wash, peel, halve or quarter, and core enough pears to fill a Dutch oven. Add water to cover and add 2 teaspoons of anti-darkening agent like Fruit Fresh. Boil pears until tender, but not soft. Transfer pears to a bowl.

Using the water the pears were boiled in, make thin syrup of 2-cups pear water and 1-cup sugar. Do not discard remaining pear water. You may need to make additional syrup. Return pears to Dutch oven and cover with syrup. Make additional syrup if needed to cover pears. Boil in syrup for 4-8 minutes. Pack in hot, canning jars; cover with syrup. Seal and process in boiling waterbath canner, 20 minutes for pints or 25 minutes for quarts.

Use in any recipe that calls for canned pears. Makes great pear salad.

Pear Relish

20-cups pears

6 green bell peppers, seeded

6 red bell peppers, seeded

4 Vidalia onions to make 5 cups

5-cups apple cider vinegar

5-cups sugar

1 tsp. sat

Using a food processor, grind pears using coarse blade and drain until all excess juice is removed. Grind peppers and onions. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil; gently boil for 20 minutes. Pack into hot, sterilized pint jars, seal and process in boiling waterbath canner for 10 minutes.

— Judy O’Daniel’s “Country Gourmet” column appears each Wednesday in the Times-Journal. This column originally ran Dec. 10, 2008.

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