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How to Make Pear Relish - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs

How to Make Homemade Pear Relish

PDF print version coming

Making and canning your own pear relish is quite easy. Here's how to do it, in 10 easy steps and completely illustrated.

Also, see our easy illustrated directions about how to can pears, pear picking tips, make pear or applesauce, pear or apple butter and our list of apple festivals!

Ingredients

  • 2 gallons of pears - see this page for descriptions of pear varieties
  • 6 large onions
  • 6 sweet green peppers
  • 6 sweet red peppers
  • 1 bunch celery (washed thoroughly) (celery is optional; the Ball recipe calls for it, not all do. It does give it a spicy flavor and texture)
  • 3 cups of dry, granulated (table) sugar. Yes, you can substitute an equivalent amount of honey or agave; or even use Stevia (or Splenda) to taste. The sweetener does not affect the preserving safety qualities, although Stevia and Splenda result in a darker, runnier relish.
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 cups vinegar (5%)

Equipment

  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
  • Jar funnel ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)
  • At least 1 large pot
  • Jelly strainer (see step 6) or cheesecloth
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • Ball jars (Publix, Kroger, other grocery stores and some "big box" stores carry them - about $8 per dozen quart jars including the lids and rings
  • 1 Water Bath Canner (a huge pot with a lifting rack to sanitize the jars of pear jelly after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates) You CAN use a large pot instead, but the canners are deeper, and have a rack top make lifting the jars out easier. If you plan on canning every year, they're worth the investment.
  • Vegetable / fruit peeler ($1.99 at the grocery store)

Recipe and Directions

Yield: About 10 pint jars


Step 1 - Selecting the pears

The most important step!  You need pears that are sweet if you want to cut down on the added sugar.

Step 2 - How many pears and where to get them

You can pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store.  But for large quantities, you'll find that real farmer's markets, like the State Farmer's Market in Forest Park, Georgia have them at the best prices.  In 2007, they were available from late September at $12 to $20 per bushel.

You'll get about 14 quarts of pear jelly per bushel of pears.

Step 3 -Wash and peel the pears!

I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the pears, onions, peppers and celery in cold water and remove any stickers or labels on them.

Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, peel the pears.

Step 4 -Chop the pears, peppers, onion and celery

Chopping the the pears is much faster if you use one of those pear corer/segmenters - you just push it down on an pear and it cuts it into segments. 

Using a paring knife, be sure to remove any seeds, hard parts (usually the part around the seeds) and any mush or dark areas.

 

Then either chop the pears and vegetables  into 1/4 inch pieces by hand or put them through a food processor or chopper and pulse it a few times.

 

 

Step 5 - Measure out the sweetener

Depending upon which type of sweetener you prefer (sugar, no-sugar, Stevia (but you will have to experiment with amount, each brand of Stevia is a different concetration), or Splenda, or a mix of sugar and Stevia (or Splenda) or fruit juice) you will need to use a different amount of sugar .

Type of relish Sweetener
regular 3 cups of sugar
lower sugar 1.5 cups of sugar
lowest sugar 3 cups Splenda (or about 1/3 that if you use Stevia, which is my preference)
lower sugar 1 cups sugar and
2 cups Splenda or about 1 cup of Stevia)
no sugar 3 cups Splenda
or
about 1 cup Stevia
natural 3 cups fruit juice (grape, pear, apple or mixed)

Step 6 - Mix remaining ingredients and cool overnight

Stir in the sugar, allspice, salt and vinegar into the chopped mixture and let stand, covered, overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 7 - Heat the mixture

Pretty simple! Heat the relish mixture to boiling; and then simmer for 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8 - Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on

Fill them to within 1/2-inch of the top, wipe any spilled relish off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put the filled jars into the canner!

This is where the jar tongs and lid lifter come in really handy!

 

 

 

 

 

Step 9 - Process the jars in the boiling water bath

Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling, If the water stops boiling when you add the jars, start timing from when it returns to a boil. Then boil for 20 minutes (at sea level up to 1,000 of elevation, above that, see the table below)

Note: Some people don't even boil the jars; they just ladle it hot into hot jars, put the lids and rings on and invert them, (this is called "open kettle" processing). Open kettle process is universally condemned by all of the authorities (USDA, FDA, Universities - Clemson, UGa, Minnesota, WI, Michigan, etc,.) as being inherently dangerous and conducive to botulism. It does not create a sterile environment; it does create the ideal environment for botulism to grow.

Putting the jars in the boiling water bath REALLY helps to reduce spoilage! To me, it makes little sense to put all the working into making the relish and then not to process the jars to be sure they don't spoil or risk your family's health.!

Pack hot relish into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids and ...

Process in a Boiling Water Canner using pint jars (or smaller jars)

 

Recommended process time for Pear Relish in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
20 min 25 30 35

 

Step 10 - Remove and cool the jars - Done!

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last up to 12 months. But after about 6 to 8 months, they get darker in color and start to get runny. They still are safe to eat, but the flavor and texture aren't as good. So eat them in the first 6 months after you prepare them!

 

This document was adapted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs 
            helpful to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter 
            - to remove lids from the pot 
            of hot water 
  3. Lid 
           - disposable - you may only 
           use them once
  4. Ring 
          - holds the lids on the jar until after
          the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
          - to fill the jars

 


Home Canning Kits

See the seller's website for features, pricing and user reviews!

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from pear relish to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll never need anything else except more jars and lids!
Features:

Deluxe Food Strainer & Sauce Maker

D220-DLXRetail: $89.95Our price: $69.00



See this page for more information, reviews, descriptions of other strainers and supplies or to order!

With the Deluxe Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, you can make creamy pear sauce and smooth tomato sauce without having to peel and core! This multi-use strainer forces food through a stainless steel screen, automatically separating the juice and pulp from the seeds, shins, and stems. Perfect for purees, creamed soups, baby foods, pie filling, juices, jams, and more. Save time, effort, and money by preparing your own tasty sauces to be used immediately or boiled for future use. Do bushels with ease and in a fraction of the time. Includes the tomato/apple screen with easy twist on design and instruction/recipe booklet.

The Deluxe model comes with the standard Tomato/Pear Screen; as well as the Berry Screen, Pumpkin Screen, and Grape Spiral. Note

 

Mirro Stainless Steel Foley Food Mill
3 1/2Qt size.

See the seller's website for features, pricing and user reviews!