Southern Style Pear Preserves

Southern Style Pear Preserves Recipe

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Suzanne B.


This is the very first thing I recall learning to cook at 6 years old in Panama City, Florida. We had two cooking-pear trees that were constantly being raided by squirrels and tiny fruit-bats. So the idea was to get the pears first before the critters did.

This can be a sandwich-jam or (as was done at my home) it can be chilled and then served in a bowl at family gatherings as a kind of side dish. It's VERY sweet and delicious.

NOTE: This is canning. Hot, sterile jars will be needed, but if you intend to make no more than the amount given then it'll probably get eaten pretty quickly.

★★★★★ 1 vote
30 Min
1 Hr


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4 lb
cooking pears (any fairly solid pear will do; avoid too much juiciness)
4 Tbsp
lemon juice
2 c
1 c
water (varies)

How to Make Southern Style Pear Preserves


  • 1Peel and core pears; cut the pieces into bite-sized chunks or half that size if you plan on using this more for sandwiches. Discard peel and cores.
  • 2Place sugar, lemon juice and water in a heavy-bottomed pot at least four times as deep as what fills it; stir well until all sugar has dissolved (important!)
  • 3Add pears and bring mixture slowly to the very beginnings of a slow, gentle boil, stirring occasionally as it heats. When it begins to boil, drop the heat down to a low simmer and lid the pot.
  • 4Stir OFTEN, making sure that the preserves do not burn (and they will, given a chance! But don't stir too enthusiastically unless you're wanting this to be more for sandwiches.) Sometimes more water is needed depending on the dryness of the pears; if they seem to be getting too thick and sticky, add a little. It will all cook down.
  • 5NOTE: Cooking-time given is variable! What you're waiting for is for the pears to turn translucent; they should deepen in color somewhat also, depending on the type of pear used (some become a golden brown, some remain pale.) When they've become translucent and the liquid with them has thickened to the consistency of thin syrup, remove from heat.
  • 6Pour the mixture evenly into heated, sterile canning jars; as this is NOT a lesson in canning, I won't go into all the specifics of canning the preserves (please look up elsewhere!) Make sure that some room is left in each jar, as preserves will expand.
  • 7If serving in proper NW Florida style, keep a jar in the fridge at all times and occasionally serve along with baked chicken, turkey, ham or any other meal with a lot of meat; the cold sweetness is welcome.

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