• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown pears for the best quality and nutritional value.
  • Know when fresh pears are available in your state with this seasonal food guide.

  • If this is your first time freezing or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Freezing Information before beginning.  

1. Selection & Ingredients

  • Select fresh, ripe, firm fruit. Do not use fruit that show signs of decay or mold.
  • Use 2-2 ½ lbs of pears per quart container.
  • Anti-darkening treatment:  
    • Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) –or-
    • Commercial ascorbic acid mixture (follow manufacturer’s directions for treating fruit)
  • Sugar for syrup pack 
    • NOTE: Unsweetened, dry packed fruits will lose quality faster than those packed in sugar or syrup.

2. Equipment

  • Cooking pot (if using liquid pack method)
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Peeler
  • Knife
  • Ruler/headspace tool
  • Use clean packing containers and materials that are moisture and vapor-proof/resistant:
    • Rigid containers (glass jars and hard plastic containers) are especially good for freezing foods with liquid. Covers for rigid containers should fit tightly.
      • Square or rectangular, straight-sided rigid plastic containers make the best use of freezer space.
      • Wide-mouth, dual-purpose glass jars made for canning and freezing are tempered to withstand extremes in temperature and allow for easier removal of partially-thawed foods.
      • Narrow-mouth dual-purpose glass jars can also be used but require greater headspace (to avoid expansion breakage at the shoulder) and foods must be completely thawed before removal.
    • Flexible bags (plastic freezer bags) intended for freezing food products with liquid
      • Vacuum packaging removes more oxygen than other freezing methods (Refer to manufacturer's instructions).

3. Prepare Equipment 

  • Before use, wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry.

4. Prepare Fruit 

  • Thoroughly wash pears.
  • Peel, core, and cut into slices or halves.

5. Pack

Syrup (Liquid) Pack-

  • Prepare fresh 30-40% syrup solution by dissolving sugar in lukewarm water and mixing until the solution is clear. (see Sugar Syrup Recipe table below). 
    • Plan for 1/2 to 2/3 cup syrup for each pint of fruit.
      • Cool syrup. 
      • To prevent browning, add 3/4 teaspoon (2250 mg) ascorbic acid to each quart of cooled syrup.
        • If using commercial ascorbic acid mixture, follow manufacturer’s directions.
  • Prepare additional 30-40% syrup and heat pear pieces for 1-2 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. 
    • Drain and cool pears. 
  • Add 1/2 cup syrup/pint container or 1 cup syrup/quart container.
  • Add sliced fruit, pressing down firmly, and cover with additional syrup, as needed, leaving the proper headspace for the container type (see Headspace table below).
    • If using rigid containers, place a small piece of crumpled water-resistant paper on top to hold fruit down.
    • If using flexible bags, remove as much air space as possible.
  • Before sealing, make sure sealing edges are free of moisture or food.
  • Seal.

Sugar Syrup Recipe

% Syrup Sugar (cups) Water (cups) Yield      (cups syrup)
10 1/2 4 4 1/2
20 1 4 4 3/4
30 1 3/4 4 5
40 2 3/4 4 5 1/3
50 4 4 6


Headspace for Freezing Fruits

Pack Type

Container with wide top opening

Container with narrow top opening

Flexible bags and wraps

  Pint Quart Pint Quart Any Size
Liquid Pack ½ inch 1 inch ¾ inch 1 ½ inches Remove as much air as possible
Dry Pack ½ inch ½ inch ½ inch ½ inch Remove as much air as possible


6. Storage

  • Freeze packaged fruits as quickly as possible to 0°F or below.
    • For quickest freezing, place containers in single layer in freezer.
  • Label with the name of food, date, and type of pack.
  • Most fruits will maintain high quality for 8-12 months at 0°F or below.