Bea L. Recipe

FIG or PEAR PRESERVES...The Old Fashioned Way

By Bea L. BeachChic

Recipe Rating:
Cooking Method:
Stove Top

Bea's Story

This is my dear sweet mama's recipe, which was handed down through generations past. I love preserves so she shared the recipe with me.

I have made these preserves countless times. When I was first learning to make them it was a disaster. I cooked them too long and once they cooled I could barely get my spoon out of the jar. I was so disappointed but I have these babies down pat now.

You can make either fig, peach or pear preserves with this same recipe. They are so good in a biscuit, on toast or on a saltine cracker.


figs or pears
3 or 4 Tbsp
lemon juice (optional)

Directions Step-By-Step

Preparing the fruit:
*For Figs...wash and slice. Small figs cut in half. Large figs cut into fourths.
*For Pears...peel and slice.
*Get out a large pot you plan on cooking them in.
*Get out a medium size bowl for measuring.
Use the same bowl to measure fruit and sugar.
Put into large pot three (3) parts fruit to one (1) part sugar. Be sure to use the pot you're going to be cooking them in. Cover with lid and let stand overnight (not refrigerated) or for 10 to 12 hours to allow the sugar to melt.
Getting started:
Remove lid and stir. Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and stir again. This just makes them a beautiful golden color but it's your choice whether to use it or not. I normally always use it.
Cook on medium-high without the lid. You want a steady rolling boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to bottom of pot. Boil for 1 1/2 hours to 4 hours, depending on amount of fruit you have. A smaller amount won't take as long so use your own judgement.
Jar them:
Laddle them into clean jars and seal tightly. If you want you can turn the jars upside down for 15 minutes then right side up but it's really not necessary. A lot of older people used to do this. (It is not necessary to do a water bath with this recipe). You should hear them "pop" within 30 to 40 minutes. If you have one that doesn't seal, just put it in the fridge.
I start checking them after they have cooked for about an hour and a half or so. I put a small amount into a cup and let it get cool to see how runny it is. I keep doing this so I'll know when they're the consistency I want. In the meantime, I put my jars, lids and rings into the dishwasher on the rinse cycle. This way they are sterile. Be sure they are absolutely dry before filling. Also, I always carefully remove the rings before storing. You can reuse the rings but not the lids. Good luck.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Fruit
Regional Style: American
Hashtags: #canning, #fig, #preserves, #pear



Bea L. BeachChic
Sep 24, 2014
Good luck, Melinda. Can't wait to hear back from you.
Melinda Strange melindastrange
Sep 23, 2014
My husband just brought in 2 large barrel bags of pears someone at his work gave him. He wants me to try to make pear preserves?! That will be a first for me. I'm going to give it a try...have to buy the supplies / ingredients. Don't know about this to be honest - ha! Will post after my attempt - may be a few days at least before I find the things I need. I'm a decent cook and can bake most things but have never canned.
Bea L. BeachChic
Sep 21, 2014
Patsy, if they are real sticky and thick then you cooked them too long. You definitely do not want the juice to be too thin either. It's so hard to give an exact cooking time because it depends on the amount you're cooking plus how much water the fruits have in them. I, too, have made them come out darker than other times, which I "think" had to do with the fruit itself (ie; drier season or rainy season those particular years). Let us know how they taste and the texture, which is the most important thing. Thanks!
Patsy Smith smithpr
Sep 21, 2014
My first time! Just FYI for others: I used 15 cups of sliced pears packed, 5 cups of sugar, 4T of lemon juice and cooked for 2 hours. I really think I cooked them too long because they're very dark compared to what you buy or the pictures I've seen. Just picked the pears Friday and cooked today, Sunday. Made 4 pints. Really thought I would have more. I was afraid I wasn't cooking long enough and so went half the time. I think an hour/hours and a half would have done it. I read to get it 220 degrees from another site so I tried to watch time and temperature. I'll let you know when I taste them. Can they taste burnt or overcooked??
Patsy Smith smithpr
Sep 21, 2014
Just made the pear preserves. I had 15 cups of pears sliced and used 5 cups of sugar. I cook for two hours. Do you think that was too long? Mine are a very dark color. How can you tell if they're cooked too long? I used the lemon juice.