What is the difference between eating pears and canning pears?
By Gina from Jennings, LA
Fruit designated for eating is usually more attractive, good color and nicely shaped. Canning fruit is not perfect, oddly shaped. Bumps and bruises are not a problem as they can be cut out. Nutritionally there is no difference in the eating or canning fruit.
IMO, there is a night and day difference. I find canned tough and very little flavor. Fresh is best and more nutrious, as the vitamins and antioxidents haven't been cooked away in the canning process. When buying fresh; only buy what you'll comsume in 3 days. This way nothing goes to waste.
Actually the difference is that eating pears are soft and ripen fast. Canning or cooking pears are hard to bite into but cooking or canning softens them. If you try to can an eating pear you will get mush.
All this depends on if you are picking your own from the market or your backyard. I do both. And I use bartlett off the trees, the size of softballs. If I have to buy out of season at the store for baking with pears, I get Anjou or Bartlett.
Common kinds of pears: Anjou, Asian, Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Red Bartlett, Seckel
If you are eating fresh, you want it ripe and juicy. If you are canning it, you need to know when to can, and it is before it turns yellow and soft.
My canned pears are just as delicious as those I let ripen and eat, peelings and all. My crop last year was wonderful, the best in over 10 years. This year the same tree has less than 2 doz on it.
So I used my pears from the slight tinged yellow really ripened for many things. For water bath canning, I peeled them (greenish) and put into jars with white grape juice, not water/sugar.
The pears that got past the canning point, a 'applesauce' got made, as well as puree for fruit roll ups bases, made jams and butters from them and when I was cooking down my tomatoes, I tossed a whole bunch of softened ones into the pot. Made the best pear/tomato spread/butter/jam. No pectin or sugar used. Pears are high in pectin.
When you buy a LUG of pears at the store, you pick out the 'perfect' ones to eat first, then can, use for salads, chop, etc the ones with bumps. You pay for the quality look, the taste, nutrition are the same. Canning an eating pear is fine, just the degree of ripeness--like apples or any other fruit you use. Peaches are the same way, whether you can or freeze them for use. I don't like to freeze the pears. I like making a pear pie--like an apple but sub out the pears, take the juice off it, use tapioca to thicken it and mix a little oatmeal/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture into it and MMMMMMMM!
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