Canning: Pear with Ginger Jam

I only wish that I could send to you the smells that simmer in my kitchen when I make preserves, salsas and pickles. It’s intoxicating!  This Pear with Ginger Jam smells exotically sweet and spicy, and is making my day right now.

First, use perfectly ripe pears.  If pears are unripe, then let them sit on the counter in a brown paper bag until ripe. If some pears ripen before others, hold the ripe pears in the fridge.  Peel, core and slice 6 pounds of pears. Place in large pot or jam pot.

Add two tablespoons of fresh grated ginger.

Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice.

Add 2 cups of brown or white sugar. I like brown the best.

Simmer, simmer, simmer, mashing pears with spoon when softened.  While waiting for jam to thicken, set up water bath with 5-7  half pint jars.  You can also use pint jars.

When jam has thickened and looks like chunky applesauce,  fill hot jars, allowing 1/4 inch headspace.

If pears are not getting mushy, you can lightly pulse half the mixture in a blender and then add it back to the simmering pot.  It shouldn’t look too smooth, though.

You can also add a layer of fresh blueberries to the top (stop within 1″ of the top of the jar and then fill to 1/4″) if you like, or you can simmer with fresh cranberries. If you add blueberries, just add at the end because they are fragile.  The berries will migrate to the bottom of the jar.

Process for 10 minutes at sea level, 15 minutes at 5000 feet.  Be sure to make more than one batch, because this will not last long!

Recipe:  Pear with Ginger Jam

6 pounds peeled, cored and sliced pears

2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 cups brown or white sugar

optional:  fresh blueberries (added at top of jars) or cranberries (simmered with pears)

Simmer together until thickened.  Spoon into hot sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes at sea level, and 15 minutes at 5000 feet, according to canning instructions. Makes  5-7 half pints (makes more if you use the berries).

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