August 24, 2009

Spiced Pear Jam

pear jamWhen life gives you 12 lbs of pears, what do you do?

I made jam.

Well, actually, I only used 3-4 lbs of the pears to make the jam. The rest were eaten out of hand, baked in a pear-peach crisp (which I’ll share with you soon - I’ve finally nailed down a good gluten-free version!), or peeled and sliced, and placed in the freezer for the future. I’m happy to know that I have delicious fruit available when winter comes. Definitely will be missing the bounty of summer produce come December.

Why so many pears? Well, in my frequent visits to the farmer’s market in McKinney, I have become acquainted with the farmer that owns Good Earth Organic Farm in nearby Celeste, Texas. (We’ve most recently been in discussions about starting a CSA, which I am ecstatic about!) He has regularly brought bushels of pears to the market, as well as braids of garlic, fresh sweet yellow onions, okra, various peppers, and his winter squashes are just starting to arrive. I was eyeing his pears, and we discussed that he could make a deal on a larger volume. I agreed to buy a peck of pears, and happily toted my goodies home. I allowed the pears to sit out for a few days to ripen.

Once they were ripe, I knew I had to process them. Being a bit of a newbie to canning (I’ve canned hot peppers before, but it was 7-8 years ago, and am a complete newbie to jams), I carefully had to read the instructions…twice…to be sure I knew what steps to take. Once I got the hang of it, though, it was relatively simple – prepare jam, simmer (sterilize) canning jars and lids, fill jars, and process in hot water bath. Simple!

How was the jam? I’ll admit, it was a teensy bit thinner than store-bought jams, but after spreading it on a bit of (gluten-free) toast, I didn’t find this to be an issue. After all, most jams I’ve purchased were difficult to spread. This jam was much easier. And the cinnamon and allspice didn’t overwhelm the pear flavors, they complimented them quite well. I just might have to indulge in a regular ritual of jam-on-toast!

Spiced Pear Jam, yields 8 8-ounce jars

4 cups prepared pears (about 3-4 lbs pears, peeled, sliced, and processed in food processor until chunky)

Juice and zest from 2 large lemons

5 cups sugar

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t allspice

1 t butter

1 3-ounce pouch pectin, such as Sure Jell

pears should be of a chunky consistency once out of food processor

pears should be of a chunky consistency once out of food processor

Bring water in your canner to a boil and keep at a simmer. Bring another pot of water large enough to hold your canning jars and lids to a boil, and reduce to a simmer, and place your jars and lids in the water and hold them there until ready to fill.

Place the prepared pears, lemon juice and zest, sugar, spices, and butter into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Add pectin and stir constantly while at a boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, and skim off the foam that has risen to the top.

Fill jars with jam, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Place the sealer lids on, and tighten the threaded lid. Place each jar in the canner, and make sure there is enough boiling-hot water to cover the jars by 2 inches or so. Boil for 10 minutes, and then remove from canner and transfer to a towel and allow to cool for 6-8 hours. Your sealer lids should have all popped. (You can test by pressing your finger in the center of the lid, if it doesn’t wobble up and down, you’re good. If it does, you will need to refrigerate the jar, or you can try to reprocess with a new sealer lid if you prefer.) Congratulations, you have made jam!

47 Responses to “Spiced Pear Jam”

  1. This pear jam looks great! I can already imagine having it on toast for breakfast. I would probably add a bit of vanilla bean paste, but I seem to add that to everything!

  2. Ohhhhhh yeah. I can smell it through my monitor! Yummm!

  3. You don’t really see pear jam where we are so this is a real tasty treat.

  4. I can just imagine the smell of this while it’s cooking. It must be wonderful. Mmmm… pass me some bread!!

  5. Are you using liquid pection – and a 3 ounce pouch? Or would that be powdered pectin. I’m new to canning and do not know if they are interchangeable. Thanks!

    • Toby, I used a 3 ounce pouch. Good question. I’ll make the change on the recipe. I don’t know if they are interchangeable…if someone more experienced in canning knows, please enlighten us! Thanks!

  6. oh i love this jam, I recently joined a CSA its great, love your site and the picture at the top Okra rocks

    Have a great day Rebecca

  7. Looks fabulous Alta! That’s a whole lotta pears :) I love pears, one of my very favorite fruits. I still have a ton of sour cherries I need to make jam from, I just wish I had some more time in the day :(

  8. wow, this sounds really tasty, like others I would so have it on toast for breakfast :)

  9. Hmm, I never really thought of making pear jam, but this recipe looks amazing. I myself need to take the plunge and try canning. Time is running out!

    Great post!

  10. What a brilliant idea! I seldom to never make jam, not sure why. And I would have never thought of making pear jam. Have to try this, thanks for posting it.

  11. That looks heavenly. What a great way to keep the flavor of a fresh harvest around for the chilly months!

  12. That looks lovely. I’ve never had pear jam before. Looks like I’m missing out.

  13. Sounds great with the lemon! I’ve never canned, but I think I have to try it some day.

  14. I love making jam! This looks great! I personally like it a bit runnier than so jelled ;)

  15. This sounds fantastic! I love pears and I love the spices you used!

  16. Looks great I can think of a few things I could use that jam on ..thanks for sharing kisses xxx Rico|Recipes

  17. This sounds really delicious…I don’t think I’ve ever had pears in “jam” form. This is making me soooo ready for autumn :)

  18. Just found your blog through the discussion group. Love it! Great jam flavor!

  19. I have yet made any pear jam. Your pear jam looks so good and would be perfect for my breakfast toast.

    Angie’s Recipes

  20. This is one kind of jam that I’ve never eaten. How delicious it sounds! Sweet and cinnamony mmmm.

  21. This looks fantastic.
    I have been making jam all summer. There has been some fantastic recipes like my Cinnamon Peach and not so with my Cherry Vanilla, it turned out tasting like cough syrup!
    I would love to try this!!!

  22. This looks delicious! I can’t wait til I get some pears from my CSA…We got a whole bunch of apples this week, and you’ve inspired me to make/can applesauce, thanks!

  23. This would be fabulous on vanilla ice cream. And simple jam is a good thing.

    Did you know that there’s a CSA in McKinney? Squeezepenny Sustainable Farms I am going to get in on the fall quarter and see how it goes. The only thing is that they don’t deliver. You have to go to the Frisco Farmer’s Market every other Saturday to pick up your share. I love an excuse to go to a Farmer’s Market. :)

    • Alexa – That was a thought I had (applesauce/pear-sauce) too! My farmer friend has a lot of pears left, might just can some pear-sauce! Great idea.

      Amy – I didn’t know there was a Frisco Farmer’s Market! Where have I been? And I didn’t know there was a CSA in McKinney either. I’ve been on a waiting list for one in the Rockwall area for 3 years, so I was so excited to hear about the one from Good Earth Organic Farms. Good luck with Squeezepenny, I’ll have to check it out too, just in case. Thanks so much!

  24. Oh.. This would be so delicious with toast! What a clever and yummy way to use pears, Alta :)

  25. Looks good! Got to get around to make something jam :o)

  26. I don’t believe I’ve ever had pear jam before – but it looks great!

  27. Mmmm, I love pear jam. That looks so good!

  28. Wow this is really cool, I would love to make my own jam!

  29. Ooooh I LOVE LOVE LOVE pear jam and have always wanted to make it on my own but have never found a good recipe! But now I have! I am bookmarking this! Thank you!

  30. That looks delicious! Way to use up all those pears too! :D

  31. Thanks for giving me a (much needed) good cry over at SippitySup. I needed it. This pear thing looks great, if only I could focus through my tears. I guess I am still feeling a bit sorry for myself! GREG (I promised I would not do that!)

  32. Looks lovely…all I can hear – ginger and cardamoms to spice it up a bit. Reminded by my Pear Tart Tatin!

  33. I have a pear tree that will be bursting with ripe fruit in a couple of weeks. This jam recipe is being saved to my favorites for just that occasion!

  34. What lovely jam! This looks delicious. I imagine a riesling pear jam could be an interesting twist.

  35. MIAMMI YUMMY!!

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  37. I have 3 bags of pears to put up today! I’m making this and will definitely share the results on my blog :)

  38. Yum! This jam looks perfect for the fall!

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  41. I made the pear jam yesterday, and it was so good that I am making more today. Is the receipe the same if I want to use a sweetner? It has a lot of sugar in the receipe. Thanks, Bonnie

    • Bonnie – so glad you liked it. As for your question – I’m not a super-experienced canner, so while I’m sure the jam would taste delicious even with less sugar (if I was remaking it today, I’d probably cut the sugar way back or replace it with another sweetener), I am unsure on whether it would still can and preserve correctly. You might try consulting some of the instructions on those no-sugar pectin packages, and/or feel free to do what I generally do nowadays – freeze it. Good luck – let me know how it turns out.

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