The first step to making pear preserves is locating good pears this late in the fall. For these, we traveled to Arkansas City, Arkansas.
Around the Desha County courthouse, and other places in town, are some rather rough-looking pear trees that Judge Lampkin remembers as being planted back in the early 1950s. They aren’t very attractive until they are covered with those big, delicious pears in the fall. Late in September, some of those trees were still laden with pears.
The next step is the gathering of the pears. They had to be shaken from the trees. On this day I was racing red wasps to gather the fruit without being stung because their sugar content is so high.
When I got home, I began to peel the pears and slice them in thin slices into a large boiler.
The next step is to combine the fruit (6 cups) with sugar (4 cups), stir and let sit a half hour or so to “make juice”. A cup of water may be added to avoid sticking. Now add the juice from one large sliced lemon to the pear/sugar mixture. Let the mixture cook slowly until the fruit is translucent and has turned a shade of light amber.
Ladle hot fruit into jars and seal. Enjoy with toast or biscuits.