Pears in Brandied Apple Juice

Pears with brandy 002

Jars of these pears seem like extravagant Christmas gifts to the recipient, but are really quite economical to make.

It’s not quite a sugar-free recipe, as there is of course a great deal of sugar in the apple juice, but there’s no added sugar.

One of these pear halves is delicious with a dollop of fat-free Greek yoghurt on it.

This recipe is a Ball recipe — “Cinnamon Pears” — with the added idea of brandy extract.

The recipe

Jar size choices: Half-litre (1 US pint / 500 ml/ 16 oz) OR litre (US quart / 32 oz)

Processing method: Either water-bath or steam canning

Yield: 3 x litre (US quart) jars

Headspace: 2 cm (1/2 inch)

Processing time: Half-litre (pint) 20 minutes; litre (quart) 25 minutes.

Pears in Brandied Apple Juice

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: Makes 6 x half-litre (1 US pint) jars

Serving size: ½ pear

Calories: 47

Fat: .1 g

  • 3 to 4 kg pears (6 to 9 lbs, 18 to 27 medium-sized)
  • 1 litre unsweetened apple juice (4 cups / 32 oz)
  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  • Brandy extract
  • Cinnamon sticks about 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) long
  1. Wash pears. Cut in half lengthwise, core and peel. Place completed pear halves in a bowl of water with some lemon juice in it.
  2. Put a broad pan such as a Dutch oven with 5 to 10 cm (a few inches) of water in it on to start boiling.
  3. Put the apple juice in a saucepan and set on a burner to start heating.
  4. Poach the pears one layer at a time in the pot of boiling water, until they are hot throughout.
  5. Bring apple juice to full boil.
  6. Pack hot pears into half-litre (US pint) or litre (US quart) jars, core cavity downwards. It's okay to layer them in the jar.
  7. Leave 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
  8. Tuck 1 cinnamon stick in each jar.
  9. In each jar, put ½ teaspoon brandy extract and (optional) 1 tablespoon brandy. (Double those quantities for litre (US quart) jars.
  10. Top up each jar with the hot apple juice, leaving the 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
  11. Debubble, adjust headspace.
  12. Wipe jar rims.
  13. Put lids on.
  14. Process in a water bath or steam canner.
  15. Process half-litre (US pint) jars for 20 minutes; 1 litre (US quart) jars for 25 minutes.
  16. Best after at least a few weeks of jar time.

Reference information

How to water bath process.

How to steam can.

When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.

More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.


Recipe notes

  • Don’t use Asian pears for this; they aren’t as acidic as European pears, and this recipe was probably developed for European pears.
  • The apple juice quantity is approximate. You may need more or less.
  • Instead of boiling the apple juice in a pot, you could zap it to boiling in a microwave.
  • The expectation would be that the pears are going into the jars quite warm to hot — as opposed to room temperature or cold.
  • Adding a tablespoon of actual brandy to the jar is really there just to provide “truth in advertising”, that there is some actual brandy in there! You could omit and just use the brandy extract.


Recipe source

Cinnamon Pears. In: Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 20

Modifications made:

  • Added the brandy extract and brandy. On the same page, Ball has a recipe that calls for the packing liquid to be half brandy, but this gives the same effect without the added expense or calories.

canned pears with brandy 006

Nutrition information

Serving size: 1/2 pear

(Nutrition based on assumption that a pear has absorbed 1 tbsp apple juice.)

pears with brandy nutrition

Per 1/2 pear. 47 calories.

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: Per pear half, 1 point.


* Nutrition info provided by

* PointsPlus™ calculated by Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

Pears with brandy 003

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