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Pear (and apple) Jam with Honey, Vanilla, and Ginger

September 14, 2010

Pear jam definitely qualifies as classy and a bit more unusual than your typical strawberry or peach jam.  Add vanilla bean and candied ginger, and you have a treat that works well for toast, ginger cake, or ice cream.  We mixed bartlett and anjou pears, and threw in 2 apples I had from my CSA to increase the yield.  Apples provide a nice base while letting the pear flavor shine through.  You can use this recipe without the apples if you prefer.

The finished product

Recipe, adapted from Saving the Season:

  • 4 lbs. (3 lbs. peeled and chopped) pears
  • 2 small apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 tbsp. honey (running the jar under hot water first helps getting the honey moving and makes it easier to pour and measure)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 oz. (about 3 pieces) candied ginger, minced
  1. Peel and chop pears and apples, adding to a bowl of water with about 1/4 cup lemon juice added, to prevent browning.
  2. When finished, drain fruit and combine with lemon juice, sugar, and honey.  Let sit for at least one hour.
  3. To speed up cooking, we split the mixture into two pots to cook. Half of the ginger, vanilla seeds and 1/2 of the pod was added to each pot.
  4. Bring to a rapid boil (one to can’t stir down), and boil for 10 minutes (or until jell point), stirring constantly.
  5. Remove vanilla pods.  Ladel into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: 9 x 4 oz.

Note for next time: while the pears and apples broke down a bit, next time I would consider hitting one of the pots with an emersion blender, and combining the two batches.  This would leave some chunks, to avoid what I like to call the baby food syndrome, but would provide for a smoother jam.  I hope to try this out in the next few weeks.

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