We canned pears in early October. The kids love them so much they've already eaten 6 jars. Yikes! I'll have to can more next year.
We picked the pears at a nearby farm. This wonderful older farmer just can't use all the fruit from his trees and lets us have whatever we can pick... for free! Nice arrangement, huh? We do try to give him something in exchange. At the end of September I dropped off about 50 pounds of giant zucchini for his cows & pigs to enjoy. :-)
Since this awesome farmer has been letting us pick his fruit all summer, we bought an apple peeler to make things a bit easier when canning. It worked great on the apples when I canned apple pie filling and canned apples.
We also used it on the pears! So long as the pears were still firm (not fully ripe), they peeled great! It made canning them a breeze. Really!
I made a light syrup (light syrup just means there is less sugar) and put them into the steam canner for about 30 minutes. My mother-in-law gave me her old steam canner this summer and I've been using it a bit. It's so much easier than a water bath canner, but I do notice the results are not as reliable. (A steam canner only has water in the bottom portion, about 3 pints of water. It has a giant lid that goes over the top of the jars, which sit on a rack over the 3 pints of boiling water. This creates a steambath of sorts, which is supposed to get hot enough to seal the jars.) Since I notice the results are not as good as with a waterbath canner, I increase the cooking time. This seems to help more of the jars to seal and gives me a better peace of mind.
I canned 21 quarts of pears. The kids love them so much I don't think they will last long. I just hope we have some left by Spring.... I seriously have my doubts.