How to Pickle Pears

How to pickle pears using the water bath canning method for a sweet treat any day of the week that is a great snack for kids especially on a hot summer afternoon. They also grill incredibly well and are easy to cook. A great way to use up all those fresh pears off the tree.This year I picked an over abundance of pears. Lots and lots of pears; small, firm and perfect for canning. Which lead me to the question: How to pickle pears? I learned quickly and dang is a pickled pear amazingly delicious!

I had always shied away from pickling fruits, as I was nervous that the vinegar flavors may overtake the sweet flavors, but boy was I wrong. There is nothing better than a pickled pear when it’s cold out! (Plus it’s still a ‘Pickle’ so it can be my favorite food without changing a thing).

If you have never tried pickling pears, the time is now- you won’t be disappointed. They are great as a treat or as a part of dinner- I really like to eat them caramelized straight off the grill with my grilled pork chops.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a tiny percentage if you buy something using them. I only recommend places and products that I know and trust that I think can help you.

How to Pickle Pears

As I had never pickled pears before I didn’t want to just wing it, so I followed my favorite, and trusty-worthy pickling book: The Joy of Pickling, by Linda Ziedrich. I made a few changes as I went along, mostly to the amount of sugar being added, as I always try to minimize the use of sugar in my recipes, but nothing drastic.

overabundance of pearsStart with about 6 lbs of firm pears (the quantity will vary depending on the type of pear you’re using). Wash and peel them. This is why you want firm pears- so they are easier to peel (and so they don’t disintegrate in the liquid mixture you’ll cook them in).

Peeled PearsOnce your pears are peeled you can either slice them in half, or if small enough, leave them whole (or do a mixture of both, like I did).

Liquid Pickling Juice

In a large, stainless steel pot add the vinegar, sugar, water and spice bag (I didn’t have a spice bag so got creative and used my nonreactive, mesh tea infuser- not perfect (or recommended), but it worked- now I have these awesome (and completely affordable) spice bags always on hand!). Bring the syrup to a boil and then add in the pears.

Once they’ve boiled for 15 minutes you can add them to the quart jars and boil them using the water canning method.

Here is the full recipe- Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Pickled Pears
Course Canning, Side Dish
Cuisine Pickled
Course Canning, Side Dish
Cuisine Pickled
  1. Peel your pears, if they are small enough you can leave them whole, with the stems attached. If they are larger, slice them in half and core them.
  2. Tie the spices up in a spice bag or cheesecloth; cloves, ginger and cinnamon sticks.
  3. In a large, stainless steel pot mix together the water, vinegar and sugar. Then add in the spice bag and bring the syrup to a boil. Stir while boiling to dissolve the sugar, and then lower the heat. Allow syrup to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Place a single layer of pears into the syrup. Note that you won't be able to cook all the pears at once.
  5. With the heat on low, cook the pears until they are barely tender; anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the variety. Once pears are done, transfer the cooked pears to quart or pint mason jars.
  6. Repeat the last step with a new batch of uncooked pears. Repeat until you have cooked all the pears (batch sizes will depend on size of your syrup pot)
  7. When all the pears are cooked and packed into the mason jars, remove the spice bag from the syrup and pour the hot pickling liquid over them, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace in each jar.
  8. Wipe the rims of each jar and close with two-piece lids. Place jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool and seal for up to 24 hours. Store jars in a cool, dark place.
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2 Thoughts on “How to Pickle Pears

  1. Pingback: Recipe for Caramelized Grilled Pears | Pickles Travel Blog

  2. Pingback: Dill Pickle Relish Recipe | BBQ Condiment | Pickles Travel Blog

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