• When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown pears for the best quality and nutritional value. Determine when fresh pears are available where you live 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.