Pear Pie Filling

One of the best parts about moving to this homestead last fall is that there were some established fruit trees here. We have eight pear trees and two apple trees. Unfortunately, our apple trees are really dying off and we only got a couple apples that formed this year. The pear trees, however, have done really well. There are some that have portions that are dying but there are several that are super healthy and doing great. They are really large trees as they weren’t pruned for years but we bought fruit pickers and we are making it work. We honestly had more pears than we even knew what to do with. I picked the last bushel and decided that I was going to do something bold with them- pear pie filling.

Types of Pears

Being that the pear trees were already here when we moved in, I have no idea what types of pears they are. We were even told that one of the trees was an apple and pear cross. From what I was reading about pie filling before starting the pear pie filling project it’s a good thing to have different varieties. Honestly, I don’t think there are that many varieties of pears to begin with so I’m sure that whatever you have to work with is going to be fine. All Bartlett pears, the most common kind, would totally work with this recipe. You will want the pears to be ripe. Not too firm but not really mushy either. Although, just to be clear, some of mine were a little too soft and this still turned out wonderfully. In the worst case, it will make your pie filling a bit more runny but the taste will still be phenomenal.

Quarts of pear pie filling ready for canning.
Quarts of pear pie filling ready for canning!


Pears seem to be one of those things that people either really like or really don’t like. I’ve found that it’s usually because of the texture of pears. They can be what can only be described as “gritty.” My sister always gave me her pears as a kid because she hated them so much. To this day they’re too gritty for her. If, however, you are concerned about the pie being gritty you would be wrong. When the pears are cooked down they have the texture of apples. They are really soft and, personally, I didn’t notice that there was any grittiness to them. I’m probably one of the least picky eaters that I know though so don’t take my word on it. 

I promise, this pear pie filling is really worth a shot. My family raves about it. I’m actually a little concerned I only made 8 quarts this year. I promise I don’t make pie that often but this one disappears so quickly we need more than one when I make it for everyone!

Peal and core your pears.
Peel and core your pears. Chickens can’t have pear seeds so make sure to separate the cores from the peels if sharing with your feathered friends!

Pear Pie Filling Ingredients

  • 18 medium pears (more or less if they are large/small)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
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  • Peel, core, and slice pears into a large bowl. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and let them sit together for 30 minutes. 
Pear pie filling gently boiling.
Pear pie filling gently boiling.
  • Put this mixture into a pot and bring to a gentle boil. 
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should thicken as it cooks.
  • After boiling, pour the mixture into clean, sterilized, warm jars.
  • Pack down the mixture and wipe off the rim.
  • Place the lid and ring on the jar to seal it. (You should prepare your lids as you see fit.)
  • Water bath the jars for 20 minutes. 
  • When you are ready to use, pour it into a pre-baked pie crust recipe of your choice. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until heated through. 

Make 2 quarts.

Golden pear pie filling.
The pear pie filling should have a golden color when it’s been cooked.

In Summary: Pear Pie Filling

Who in the world knew there was such a thing as pear pie!? I certainly didn’t. When I first mentioned the idea to my family they thought I was crazy. No one in our family had ever heard of pear pie, let alone tried it. So I started doing some research to see what I could find out about pear pie filling and how I could can it. I love this recipe and the flavor of it is absolutely delightful. I made an apple pie and a pear pie and we all decided the pear was even better than the apple! It’s also a super simple canning process which is nice when you’re knee deep in canning season like we are right now. 

What is your favorite type of pie? I can’t can it but my absolute very favorite pie in the world is my mom’s peanut butter pie. It’s a Thanksgiving must have! Perhaps I’ll have to share that one later too.

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