Pear-Lemon Preserves

by Daisy on 09/12/2008

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Pears and lemons are soulmates, two halves of one ambrosial whole. To me, this is the only way to make pear preserves, with thinly sliced whole lemons, peel and all.


Pear Preserves

Southern Living Cookbook

10 large pears (about 5 pounds), peeled, cored and chopped

4 1/2 cups sugar

3 cups water

2 lemons, thinly sliced

Place pears in a 3-quart Dutch oven and add water to cover. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until pears are tender. Drain.

Combine sugar and 3 cups water in a 6-quart Dutch oven; bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes (mixture will be a thin, transparent syrup). Remove from heat, and let cool 15 minutes.

Stir in pears and lemon slices; bring mixture to a rapid boil. Boil rapidly until pears are transparent (about 45 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Pour pear mixture into a shallow 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan; skim off foam with a metal spoon. Cover loosely with paper towels, and let stand in a cool place 12 hours. Shake pan occasionally (do not stir) so pears will absorb the syrup. Skim off foam with a metal spoon.

Heat fruit and syrup mixture in Dutch oven. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the hot fruit into hot jars. Bring syrup to a boil; pour boiling syrup over fruit, leaving 1/4-inch head space; wipe jar rims. Cover with metal lids; screw on bands. Process in boiling-water bath 20 minutes. Yield: 3 pints.


Note: 5 pounds of whole pears became 3 1/2 pounds after peeling and coring– yield= 3 pints of preserves. Also, if you are suspicious that the syrup is too runny and unlikely to gel, when you boil the syrup for the last time just before pouring it over the fruit, test it by putting a little on a cold plate. If it is not starting to congeal at all, continue boiling the syrup until the cold-plate test is good for a bit of a gel. Just watch it–boil too long and you’ve made hard pear candy. (You are more likely to have a no-gel situation if you have tried to reduce the sugar like I tend to do.)

I am going to have to make a second batch. They are already starting to walk out the door.

Tags: , , , home preserving,

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean September 12, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Wish I’d seen this last week when our pears were still usable. We’ve eaten most of them and I’ve made some chutney but this looks wonderful.

LaDonna August 17, 2009 at 7:41 pm

I have been looking for a recipe like my mother made. We lived in the middle of a 30 acre pear orchard, so they were plentiful. I will try this in a few weeks when the pears are in harvest. Hope it works. The only difference is that she left the pears in larger pieces more like sliced.

Tomato Lady August 17, 2009 at 11:31 pm

LaDonna–My mother made this, too. Hope yours turns out. The lemon is my favorite part.

Virginia October 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Is the lemon peeled or do you leave the peel on?


Tomato Lady October 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Virginia–Peel on, it’s delicious. Think marmalade.

jeansing September 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

Thanks Tomato lady…. this is just the question I had !!! so, I will leave the peel on the lemons and make it taste even better than it did the first time… that’s why we need one another.

bonnie October 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

Good morning. I made this same recipe of pear preserves years ago and wanted to make a batch as pears are out at our local farmers market here in East Texas. I do remember the recipe being delicious, but don’t remember how I did the 12 hour part in a “cool place”. Seems like I set the pan in my oven for that time, but just not sure. Where do you set your pan for this duration of time? Should the pan be put in the fridge?

Daisy October 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm

bonnie–I just put it on the kitchen counter, out of the sun. If you have room, it would be okay in the refrigerator, too. Good luck! I love this recipe, too. So good on homemade whole wheat toast.

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