Pear Pie Filling

3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-wide pear slices
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid crystals or 6 crushed (500-milligram) vitamin-C tablets
3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup Clear-Jel
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup apple or pear juice
1/2 cup other fruit juice or cold water
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
2 tablespoon bottled lemon juice

Place the pear slices in 1 gallon water containing the dissolved ascorbic acid crystals or vitamin-C tablets. Boil for 1 minute after water returns to a boil. Drain and keep blanched pears in a covered pot so they will stay warm. Blanching is not necessary but allows more pears to fit into each jar.

Combine the sugar, Clear-Jel and cinnamon in a large kettle with the juice and/or water. If desired, the nutmeg and food coloring may be added. Stir and cook on medium-high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add the lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Immediately fold in drained, sliced pears.

Immediately fill clean, hot pint or quart canning jars, leaving 1 1/2 inches head space. Adjust lids and immediately process in a boiling-water canner for 25 minutes up to 1,000 feet elevation, 30 minutes up to 3,000 feet, 35 minutes up to 6,000 feet.

Makes 1 quart or 2 pints.

— Recipe courtesy of Oregon State University Extension Service.

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