These sweet and lightly spiced pears make a delicious after-dinner treat with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
12 cups (3 L) water, divided
1/3 cup (80 mL) organic bottled lemon juice
7 lbs (3.2 kg) Bartlett pears (about 18 pears), ripe yet still firm
1/2 cup (125 mL) honey
2 vanilla beans, cut into thirds
1 Tbsp (15 mL) pink peppercorns, divided
Prepare all equipment for the hot water canning process.
Place 6 cups (1.5 L) of water and lemon juice in large bowl. Working with 1 pear at a time, peel, core, and cut into quarters before placing in lemon water. Repeat with remaining pears.
In large pot combine remaining 6 cups (1.5 L) water with honey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 2 minutes. Drain pears from acidulated water and add to light syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook until just warmed through, about 5 minutes. If you overcook pears they will become very soft or fall apart during the canning process.
Meanwhile, lay clean kitchen towel on work surface. Place hot jars on towel. To each, add 1 piece of vanilla bean and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pink peppercorns. Using slotted spoon, remove pears from syrup and lightly pack into hot jars. Ladle hot syrup into jars, leaving 1/2 in (1.25 cm) of head space from rim of jars.
Seal and process jars using the water bath canning method for 20 minutes. Remove with canning tongs and set on cooling rack or clean towel. Leave jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours.
Check seal and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Wait at least 2 weeks before opening.
Makes 6 - 2 cup (500 mL) jars.
Each 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving contains: 85 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 23 g total carbohydrates (15 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 2 mg sodium
source: "The Art of Canning", alive #371, September 2013
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