Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spiced Pear Jam

This recipe used up the last of the pears. I really wanted to make pear butter, but the idea of standing and stirring for that long was simply too much. Instead, I made a pectin-based jam flavoured with allspice, cloves and cinnamon. I knew the recipe would work because I've used it before with peaches, and I have little patience these days for cooking adventures. I scraped 8 half pints from the recipe.

You Will Need:

1 quart finely chopped, peeled cored pears
7 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice (you need bottled juice to be assured of the correct acidity)
1 pouch liquid pectin
In a spice bag (or cheesecloth tied with string) place 1 cinnamon stick, half a teaspoon whole allspice and a teaspoon of whole cloves.

Combine fruit, sugar and lemon in a large pot and bring slowly to a boil stirring constantly until sugar dissolves (or you will have caramel. I like caramel pears, but I don't like sugar burnt to the bottom of my good pot. Just stir, and take my word for it).

Add the spice bag and bring slowly to a boil. When you have reached the boil, add the pectin quickly and for the love of god, keep stirring or that sucker will boil over. Return it to a rolling boil. You want to boil it hard for one minute, but do not take your eyes off it for a second. I don't think Mr. Eat The Blog will come over and clean your sticky stove.

Ladle into sterilised hot jars and fill leaving 1/4 inch headspace. I like to run a small spatula around the inside of jam even though it isn't necessary. Wipe the threads clean with a damp cloth, cover with a heated lid and pop that baby into the canner. Repeat until they are all sitting there simmering away like happy little old age pensioners in a Miami beach hot tub. You'll need to imagine the bathing caps.

Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and let cool in canner five minutes longer. Remove carefully to towels on a hard surface. Let cool 12-24 hours before checking seals.

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