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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Spiced Pear Jam

It's still jam season in my house! We were on the road so much this summer, that I really didn't get much canning done at all... except for jams. I've been a jam making fool this year! I've been having so much fun experimenting with new flavors and fruits and pectin. This is my newest creation. I was in the grocery the other day and there was a bin full of the most beautiful Forelle pears I'd ever seen. It was a split second decision that there would be pear jam in my future. I had never made pear jam before. I've canned many pears over the years... you know, in syrup. And I know how delicate the flavor can be, so I wanted to be sure that when you took a bite, you knew - yup - that's pear. So, I decided to use the Pomona's pectin, which can jell with much less sugar than conventional pectin. I knew from making my Peach Pie Jam with Pomona's that it's great for getting a more intense flavor punch (you know, instead of the sugar punch).

I was winging it a bit on making this recipe, but it came out superb! I am so happy with this recipe, I am headed back into the world to see if I can find more Forelles... 'cause I'm sad since the batch only made five jars. This is definitely a jam flavor I will be thrilled to gift this holiday season!

If you are new to Pomona's Pectin, be sure to read the directions on the package and/or check out my Peach Pie Jam post to get the basic gist of the stuff. This recipe will NOT work as intended with regular powdered or liquid pectin!!

Spiced Pear Jam
Yield: approx 5 half-pint jars

4 cups Forelle pears, minced and treated with Citric acid or Fruit Fresh
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp Calcium water (mixed as directed from the Pomona's packet)
2 + 1/2 cup sugar (do not add sugar all at once!!!)
3 tsp Pomona's Universal Pectin
1/4 cup ginger syrup (see note below)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Prepare the jars and a water bath canner. If you are new to canning , please review my Canning 101 post for details on how to safely can using a water bath canner. Peel and core the pears, placing in a bowl of acidified water to prevent browning. Mince pears quickly, hand crush them a bit, and then place in a stock pot on the stove. Heat gently to a simmer. Let pears cook, stirring occasionally until fairly soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and calcium water to the pear mixture. In a separate bowl, mix the pectin and 2 cups of the sugar. DO NOT ADD ALL THE SUGAR ALL AT ONCE! Be sure it is evenly mixed. Bring the pears to a hard boil. Add the sugar/pectin mixture and stiff completely. Continue stirring and return the mixture to a hard boil. Add the rest of the sugar, the ginger syrup, and the cardamom. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil again. Remove from the heat and fill the jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head-space. Secure lids and rings. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Let jars cool 5 minutes in canner before removing to cool. If the jars have sealed properly, they can be stored in a cool, dark place for over a year. Please note that lower sugar jams will not last as long in the refrigerator once they've been opened as traditional jams.

NOTE: I make a lot of crystallized ginger and so I usually have some thick, sticky ginger syrup on hand. If you don't have it on hand, you can make your own by peeling a two inch finger of ginger, slicing it, and simmering it in one cup of water for ten minutes. Add one cup of sugar and simmer another twenty minutes. Strain syrup and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

9-8-16 I loved this jam so much that I wanted to make another batch. I couldn't find Forelles this time and thought, "How much different could it be with Bartletts?" Well, I'm here to tell you, quite different. The Bartletts have a somewhat cloying flavor and do not make a jam that is nearly as good. I strongly advise making this delicious jam with Forelles. 

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