I never seem to be able to catch pears right at their optimum eating point. I bought a basket of pears at the farmers' market and they told me they would take a couple of days to ripen. Well, a couple of weeks later, and they were finally ready. Of course, the problem then is that they ripen all at once and go bad really quickly, so you have to stuff yourself with pears. Either that or can them.
I have canned pears in the past, just putting them into a syrup, but this time I wanted to actually make something out of them. I've been using the wonderful cookbook The Art of Preserving, and there was a recipe for Pear-Ginger Jam that sounded good. I'm very fond of ginger and had never really thought about pear and ginger being a good pairing, but they work really well together. Unlike most jams, there isn't a huge amount of sugar in this recipe so it's not cloyingly sweet like some jams and the taste of ginger is readly apparent with a nice little bit of heat at the finish. The recipe calls of an optional tablespoon of crystalllized ginger, but I actually think it might be a bit of ginger overkill, so I left it out.
|3 lbs||pears peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 8 cups)|
|1 tbsp||peeled and finely grated fresh ginger|
|1 cup||lightly packed light brown sugar|
|1/4 cup||fresh lemon juice|
|1 tbsp||crystallized ginger (optional)|
- Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids.
- In a large non-reactive saucepan, gently toss together the pears, fresh ginger, sugar, lemon juice, and crystallized ginger, if using. Bring to a boil over medium - high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick, about 10 minutes.
- Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 years. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.