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How to Make Homemade Pear Sauce

How to Make Homemade Pear Sauce

Yield: 7 to 9 pint jars

Click here for a PDF print version

Making and canning your own pear sauce is quite easy; it's made exactly like applesauce. Pearsauce has a texture that is a bit more grainy and of course it has the pear flavor.. Here's how to do it, in 13 easy steps and completely illustrated. Essentially, pears cook much like apples.  So almost anything you can make with apples, you can make with pears.

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! Andsee this page for descriptions of pear varieties



Yields about 8 or 9 jars, each 8 oz


  • 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.
  • Sieve:
    • KitchenAid with the Sieve/grinder attachments ($200 to $300) OR  
    • a Foley Food Mill ($25) OR  
    •  if you are REALLY into a tedious, time-consuming method, a simple metal sieve. 


Recipe and Directionspear varieties for canning

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. Just the sweetest pears you can get!  Some of the common sweet varieties are Bartlett, Bosc, D'Anjou and Asian pears.

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 will 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 will get about 12 quarts of pear jelly per bushel of pears.

Step 3 -Wash the pears!

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

Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, peel the pears. You do NOT need to peel, nor remove seeds or stems from the pears, unless you do not have a sieve. The sieves, see step 6, will remove all of these!

Step 4 -Chop the pears!

Chopping them 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.  If you  have a Foley food mill or seive or strainer, you do not need to peel or remove seeds.

Again, if you do not have a sieve, be sure to remove any seeds, hard parts (usually the part around the seeds) and any mush or dark areas.




Step 5 - Cook the Pears

Pretty simple! Put about 1 inch of water (I used either filtered tap water or store brand pear juice) on the bottom of a huge, thick-bottomed pot. Put the lid on, and the heat on high.  When it gets really going, turn it to medium high until the pears are soft through and through.




Step 6 - Sieve the cooked pearsFoley food mill

There are several ways to squish the pears through a sieve,  either through a :

  • hand-cranked Foley food mill (about $20 see this page ). Obviously, you have to crank it by hand, which is ok if you have child labor and aren't making a lot.  If you are only making a dozen or two jars or don't have other uses for a KitchenAid, then this is a practical alternative - or
  • A Villaware, Roma or Oxo strainer (about $60, see further down the page) or
  • through a KitchenAid sieve/grinder (with the attachments, about $300, but it lasts a lifetime and is fast and easy to use - I can make 100 quart jars per day with one of these).
  • To see a greater variety of strainers in other types, sizes, and prices, click here!

See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon
See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon
 See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon
See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon
See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon

 I found a pretty good deal (about half price) on remanufactured KitchenAid's with a 1 year warranty - see the links above.

You CAN also use a simple metal sieve, but it will be VERY tedious, hard work - if you plan on making pearsauce every year,  spring for the 25 bucks for the foodmill. 

Basically, you put the cooked pears (including the skins, seeds, cores and stems) into the top hopper, and use the wooden plunger to push it in.

NOTE for those on a VERY tight budget or making just a small batch of pearsauce

You CAN make pearsauce without a food processor or a $25 foodmill, but it's much more work, and really only suitable for making a quart or two of pearsauce at a time... but it can be done - Click here for the directions on making pear or applesauce with NO special equipment

The device pushes it against a sieve and the pearsauce comes out underneath (in the chrome pot in the photo at left ), and the debris shoots out the side into the sink - see photo below.






There is also a VERY nice, versatile strainer pictured at below, far right!  Click on the links there or see the bottom of this page for more information and to order! The VillaWare model can handle higher volumes than a Foley food mill (without giving you cramps!)

See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon
See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon To see a greater variety of strainers in other types, sizes, and prices, click here!

Step 7 - Season and keep the pear sauce hot

Put the pearsauce into a large pot. Add cinnamon to taste.  You should not need to add any sugar.  

The pear sauce does not need any further cooking; just keep it hot until you get enough made to fill the jars you will put into the canner (Canners hold seven jars at once, whether they are quart or pint size)

Step 8 - Fill the jars and process them in the water bath

Fill them to within 1/4-inch of the top, wipe any spilled pear sauce of the top, seat the lid and gently tighten the ring around them.  Put them in the canner and keep them covered with at least 1 inch of water.  Get the canner back to a full boil and begin timing. If you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 min. If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see the chart below






Recommended process time for pears auce in a
boiling-water canner.

  Process Time at Altitudes of
Quart Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Pints 15 min 20 20 25
Quarts 20 25 30 35

Step 9 - 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.



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. Lids
           - disposable - you may only 
           use them once
  4. Ring 
          - holds the lids on the jar until after
          the jars cool - then you remove them, save them and reuse them
  5. Canning Jar funnel
          - to fill the jars


See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon

See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon

Complete Water Bath Canner Kit

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from pumpkinauce 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, six pint jars with lids and rings, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You will never need anything else except more jars and lids!

See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon

Food Strainer and Sauce Maker

A food strainer allows you to easily make smooth tomato sauces, seedless jams and jellies, applesauce, soups, baby foods, and much more. The strainers can use different sized screens to filter out different sized seeds and debris. There are both hand cranked and motorized versions.
Click here for more information, other strainers and supplies or to order!

See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon

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

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




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