8 years ago

nina corbett

They say February is the longest month, but for me, it was November. My sincerest apologies for not posting in so long, but the last six weeks have been craaaazy. I will do my best to make up for it in the coming weeks. 
I have much to report on including a fantastic canning event I did at MEND (Meet Every Need with Dignity) with talented fellow canner Kevin West from Saving the Season, and the fabulous folks from Food Forward, but more on that later.
Below is my recipe for Thai Flavored Canned Asian Pears. Kevin sampled them at the MEND event and convinced me that it was post-worthy. Sometimes we need to borrow others taste buds, our own being confused or overwhelmed. Both Kevin and my daughter Isabel said it reminded them of lychee.
My desire for a crisp canned pear led me to develop this recipe. Asian pears don’t have a ton of flavor, but what they lack in taste they make up for in texture. I can’t think of another fruit that is simultaneously crisp and juicy. They retain that quality when canned and their delicate taste makes them the perfect foil for any number of flavors you want to impose on them. The thai trio of lemon grass, ginger and lime are a perfectly complement the pears.
The technique is the same as basic canned pears; peel and core, cook briefly in a simple syrup and can. Asian pears do not have sufficient acid so they require the addition of citric acid or bottled lemon juice to the jars before canning.
This makes a lovely light dessert served with sorbet or on its own. It’s a simple recipe with a big WOW factor.
4 quarts
  • 1-gallon cool water
  • 1-teaspoon citric acid or lemon juice (for water to prevent browning)
  • 8-10 lb firm Asian Pears
  • 21/2cups sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 1/4” thick slices of peeled fresh ginger root
  • 2 stalks lemon grass trimmed, lightly smashed and cut into 3-4” pieces
  • 4 kafir lime leaves or 4 large pieces lime peel (with as little pith as possible)
  • 8 tablespoons (2 per quart jar) bottled lemon juice or 2 teaspoons  (1/2 teaspoon per quart) citric acid
1.  Start your hot water bath canner and prepare your jars and lids.
2. Mix the water and citric acid or lemon juice together in a large bowl. Peel, quarter and core the pears (I use a melon baller) and place them in the water mixture to prevent browning.
3. Meanwhile in a large saucepan combine the sugar, water, ginger and kafir leaves or lime peel. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low.
4.  Place pears in a single layer (you may have to do two batches) in syrup. Cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes until fruit is heated through.
5. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to prepared jars. Using tongs or a slotted spoon pack pears into jars as snugly as possible (the fruit shrinks while cooking). Fill to the top squeezing in extra fruit if possible.
6. Divide ginger slices, lemon grass and  kafir evenly between jars. Cover the pears with the sugar syrup leaving 1/2-inch headroom. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims and place lids on screwing on lightly.
7. Place jars in canner covering with more hot water to submerge the jars by at least a full inch. Bring to a boil and process quarts for 25 minutes (timed from the boil). Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before carefully removing jars. Place jars on towels or a cutting board to cool.

Posted by nina corbett at 4:34 PM 0 comments Links to this post
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