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Pear Sauce Canning Recipe

>18 September 2012
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pear sauce canning recipe

Making Pear Sauce is a great alternative to applesauce when you have an abundance of pears, and tastes just as sweet even with no sugar added! My guys actually prefer pear sauce to apple sauce, so I try to make a lot of it.

The procedure is similar to canning sliced pears, with just a couple of key differences. Here’s my favorite pear sauce canning recipe, you may sweeten to taste, though I never need to add any sugar.

Pear Sauce Canning Recipe

For this project you’ll need:

  • a bunch of pears (approximately 3 lbs per quart jar)
  • canning jars
  • canning lids
  • canning tools: a jar lifter, a lid lifter, and a funnel.
  • a water bath canner
  • pots
  • knife
  • peeler and melon scooper, optional
  • a food processor or food mill (I use a Back to Basics Food Strainer)

And here we go!

how to can pears

First, wash your pears.

how to can pears

Then peel the pears.

**You can save the peels and cores (those without insect damage or bad spots) to use to make pear jelly!

how to can pears

Remove any bad spots from the fruit.

pear sauce canning recipe

 Slice, cut out the hard pit section, then chop into small-ish pieces.

how to can pears

In the meantime, make sure you have some mason jars cleaned, sanitized and HOT. The easiest way to do this is to run them through the dishwasher. You can use pints or quarts, wide mouth or regular, whatever suits you best. I can pear sauce in quart jars. My four kids will kill a whole quart of sauce in a single snack break, so it’s best for me to save lids and go with the bigger sized jar.

You can also wash the jars by hand, and then submerge the jars into a large pot of boiling water to keep hot and sanitized. Sometimes I will also put clean jars into a hot oven (set at around 250* then turn off) and let them sit in there to keep hot until I’m ready to use them.

pear sauce canning recipe

Once you have all of your pears peeled and cut up, put them into a large pot. Fill it with just enough water to keep the pears from scorching (an inch or so in the bottom of the pot), then cover and cook over medium or med/low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pears are thoroughly soft.

pear sauce canning recipe

The next step is to puree the pears. I use a Back to Basics Food Strainer. It’s a little messy, but it does a good job. I have to use it in my bathroom, though, ’cause it’s the only counter the strainer will clamp onto. Kindly overlook the potty.

pear sauce canning recipe

Return the pureed pears to the pot. Taste to see if you need to add any sugar, though like I said I never have to sweeten it at all. Bring the pear sauce to a gentle boil.

pear sauce canning recipe

While that’s heating, have your lids simmering in a small pot of water (not boiling!). You can see I have some jars in boiling water here as well, waiting to be used.

pear sauce canning recipe

Once the pear sauce reaches a light boil, continue boiling as you fill the hot jars one at a time. Stir the sauce every now and then to prevent burning. Leave 1/2 inch headspace (fill the jars to within 1/2″ from the rim).

pear sauce canning recipe

Use a wet rag to wipe the rim of the jar clean. I usually dip my finger in the simmering lid water and run it over the rim after wiping, just to make sure there isn’t anything sticky still there.

how to can pears

Now you’re ready to put the lid on. Using a lid lifter, retrieve a hot lid from the simmering water,

pear sauce canning recipe

and place the lid on the jar.

pear sauce canning recipe

Now screw on a clean ring to tighten down the lid.

how to can pears

Once all of your jars are filled and sealed, place them in a water bath canner. Fill the canner with enough water to cover the jars with 1-2″ of water. Put the lid on the canner, and bring to a steady rolling boil.

Continue to process pints or quarts at a steady boil for 20 minutes.

how to can pears

Once the time is up, use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the water bath canner.

And look! They’ve magically turned back into whole pieces!

Just kidding. This is a picture from when I canned sliced pears. But you get the idea.

Allow the jars to cool overnight, preferably on a rack .

pear sauce canning recipe

After about 24 hours, remove the rings from the jars and try to pry the lids off with your fingers. If they do not come off, they’ve sealed and are safe to store.

If a lid does come off you can either put the jar in the fridge to be eaten soon, or if you really want to store it up, you can pour the sauce back into a pot and can it over again in a new jar, with a new lid.

Don’t forget to write the date and contents on the lid with a sharpie. Pear Sauce will stay fresh for up to a year before the taste, texture and nutrients begin to diminish. That is not to say they won’t be safe to eat, they just won’t be as good as they were within that first year.

Before putting your jars up, remove the rings from the lids. Over time, these can corrode and become hard to remove, so it’s best to store jars without them.

If at any point a lid unseals on its own (not likely to happen, but possible), the contents have been compromised and are no longer safe to eat.

 Have you ever tried pear sauce? Have a tip to share?

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  • daisy said:

    Great tutorial, Kendra! We use pearsauce all the time, as it helps keep gluten-free baked goods moist. Thanks for sharing in easy-to-follow steps!

  • kim said:

    I havent tried pear sauce, since they are expensive and I dont have an outlet for them. I have made pear butter from some organic pear baby food I got from someone. It was beyond good! Enjoy your pear sauce.

  • Joyness Sparkles said:

    Thank you so much for this! I have never had pear sauce but am willing to try it and do something useful with any pears we find!

  • Dorothy T said:

    I have not tried pear sauce. I have put up applesauce. And it was good. I will have to try the pear sauce. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lisa said:

    Great post. Never thought of making pear sauce. Looks easy and sounds good. Thanks.

  • Amy said:

    I never bother with the pear/apple processor. I just puree my boiled-to-softness pears or apples in the blender. Smoooooooooooooth.

  • Pam W. said:

    I make pear sauce that same way! The last couple of years, though, I puree it (as well as applesauce) by using an immersion stick blender right in the cooking pot once the pears are cooked. It is quick, and you don’t have to pour hot sauce back and forth out of the pot and then back in. I think mine is an Oster that I paid not much more than $20 for. They are well worth the price and so convenient for these types of tasks. We just picked our Bartlett pears, and they’re spread out in the garage to finish ripening. We’re getting a couple of bushels of apple seconds from someone, too, so my canning jars will be filling up soon, too!! That’s great how you posted your photos–they should definitely make it less intimidating for people to try who haven’t done canning before. :)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    I’ve got to get an immersion blender. One thing I hate about using the strainer is all of the parts I have to take apart and wash when I’m done!! A stick blender is a great tip :)

  • Debbie Bethers said:

    I tried this today it turned out so good Thank You for posting this. AWESOME

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Wonderful, Debbie!

  • Kelly@HGF said:

    I just got through putting up the last of my pearsauce and am getting ready to put up pear slices. I make my sauce in the crockpot. You can put it on early morning and it is ready by afternoon. I do pull a lot of liquid off it and am going to use that in my pear slices.

  • Lori B said:

    This looks so good! I will do this with some of the pears I will be canning today. Is processing time in the water bath (20 minutes) universal or does it depend on elevation??

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hi Lori,

    Sorry I didn’t get to answer your question sooner! Processing time does vary depending on elevation. When water bath canning at altitudes 1,001-3,000 ft add 5 min. to the processing time. 3,001-6,000 ft add 10 min. 6,001-8,000 ft add 15 min. And at 8,001 to 10,000 ft add 20 min. to the processing time. Hope that helps!!

  • Sally said:

    Hi. I tried your recipe this weekend. We have a pear tree with lots of ripe pears and were trying to figure out what to use them for. You step by step instructions were very easy to follow. We made plain pear sauce and cinnamon pear sauce. Taste great. Thank you!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Yay! That’s so great Sally :) Enjoy!!

  • Ange said:

    Thanks! My grandpa dropped of a 10lb bag of pears today, and I whipped up this sauce this morning with my 2.5 year old and 10 month old underfoot.
    I do agree – invest in an immersion blender! You’ll never have to strain over the potty again :)
    Thanks for the tips!

  • Barb said:

    Do you have to use a bath if you are boiling the pears down. Can you just turn the upside down on the counter and let them cool through the night?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    If you do not process the pears in a boiling water bath canner, you are taking a risk of serious food poisoning. I wouldn’t try it. If you have a large stock pot you can use that as a water bath canner. Just be sure to put a dish cloth or rack in the bottom of the pot to keep the jars off the bottom, and cover the jars with 1-2″ of water. Hope that helps!

  • Matt said:

    I made pear sauce and it was awesome! The only question I have is that there is a layer of water on the bottom of some jars why is this? Is it ok to store for the winter this way? Thanks, Matt

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hi Matt,

    If you followed the directions, then it should be fine. Sometimes liquids and solids separate in the jars after processing. It’s nothing to worry about :) Enjoy!

  • Maryann Srbljan said:

    I’m making stuff out of about 100 lbs of pears. Wish me luck on getting most of them processed before they go over ripe and the chickens get a treat. Alot of them are real small and lots of waste. Next is my pear sauce. I add cardamom, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. Use have to play with it to get it to taste like you want. Basically for my sized pot of sauce I use 1 tsp cardamom (ground), 1 tsp of ginger (ground), 1/4 tsp of clove (ground), and 1/4 +1/8 tsp of nutmeg (ground)Add sugar to taste depending on ripeness of pears. Cardamom and ginger work well with pears.I also use this combo when making pear butter.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Wow, what a blessing to have, Maryann!!

  • Virginia said:

    Kendra, I made the pear sauce and it tasted wonderful. the next day though some of the jars had turned slightly brown on the very top layer of the sauce. Is this anything to worry about?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    As long as you followed the directions, and canned for the correct amount of time, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about :)

  • Diane said:

    New grandbaby arriving soon, so I made applesauce in tiny jars yesterday. Then this morning I stumbled onto your site. Needless to say, I had a case of pear sauce in tiny jars before I knew it. To tell you honestly, I had never heard or tasted this sauce before. You got me hooked on it now! Thank-you so much!!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    So glad you tried it and love it, Diane. Congratulations on your new grandbaby!!!

  • Robin said:

    Er…won’t your food mill separate out the peels and seeds? I just chop the pears coarsely, cook, and run them through. MUCH faster than peeling each pear!

  • Janet said:

    In answer to Robin’s comment, I’ve made pear sauce for many years and thought I had a brilliant idea to strain out the seeds and skins with my Victorio strainer, like I do for applesauce. The skins were too thin to be caught by the strainer and ended up making brown bits all over the sauce. Maybe it depends on the type of pear and how thick the skins are. I get my pears from my Dad’s tree and I’m not sure of the variety, but they are very sweet–and thin-skinned. : )

  • Brenda said:

    I like my apple or pear sauce chunky, so I use a potato masher. It takes longer, but is worth it.

  • Joyce said:

    Being an exhausted working wife, i peel, quarter and core my fruits, apples or pears then let them cook on low in the crockpot for the day. When i return home i mash then process like above. Seems to give a deeper flavor. Happy Canning.

  • Marian said:

    If you have a lot of pears on hand, you can make mincemeat for pies.

    Peel & core pears, then cut up into chunky pieces. Place in large pot. Add about a cup of water and squeeze a little lemon juice onto them. Then, add sugar or honey, plus cinnamon, cloves, ginger and allspice to taste. Throw in some raisins and/or currants.

    Simmer on low heat until pears are thoroughly cooked – mushy, but still chunky. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. While still hot, place into hot, sterilized quart jars and seal.

    For the pies – Simply dump a jar of mincemeat into a pastry pie shell and bake until crust is golden.

  • M'Laura said:

    Thank you so much for this!! Your instructions were very easy to follow and it turned out delicious:) I added cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves right before the final boil and it tastes heavenly! I am very excited to exchange this sugar-free sauce for the applesauce the kids normally request. Thanks again!

  • Anonymous said:

    Thank you for the canning tips as well as the recipe…extremely helpful!

  • Mary Thuresson said:

    When time is short, how about canning pears with the peels on? How about adding cinnamon candy hearts(you see them around Valentine’s day) to each jar. It adds a yummy taste and festive color.

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