A recipe for gingered pear preserves came across my email last week and it looked…
The recipe did not call for processing, and so could only be held in the fridge for about one month, so, I went looking, and…
found several similar recipes which did list canning instructions, only made about two pints of preserves, and I am not gonna drag out for big pot for two measly pints!
I considered a bunch of different recipes, tossed a few things around in my head, and came up with this recipe. Quite nice, actually, a bit spicier than most I came across because I added allspice to mine; and, I ended up with three-and-a-half pints of nicely ginger-y pear preserves.
•4 lb D’Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and sliced – about 8 cups after coring and slicing
•2-2/3 cup sugar
•2/3 cup brown sugar
•1 tbsp smoked brown sugar (optional)*
•1 tbsp ground allspice
•Zest of one lemon
•1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
•2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
•Lemon juice (for keeping the pears from turning brown)
*Available at Amazon or at some really well equipped gourmet shops.
Note: I planned on using my immersion blender to chop the pears after they had cooked until tender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, or do not want to bother with it, just chop your peeled and cored pears instead of just slicing them.
As you are slicing and/or chopping your pears, toss them in a large bowl with some lemon juice to keep them from turning brown while prepping the rest of the pears, I tossed every two pears or so with lemon juice, then repeated every time I added another couple of pears.
Once the pears have been sliced and/or chopped, transfer them to a large pot and add the sugar, brown sugar, smoked brown sugar (if using), the allspice, lemon zest, crystallized ginger, and minced ginger.
Stir together and bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring every couple of minutes.
Note: I use my g0-to favorite non-stick pan for this – and, really, for most any – recipe. If your pan is not non-stick (or not very non-stick), you will want to keep and eye on it and might need to stir a bit more often.
Simmer, stirring often, until the sugars are melted and the pears are tender, 30 to 50 minutes, depending on whether you sliced or chopped your pears.
This is where the immersion blender comes in so very handy – use it to finely chop the pears in the pan until you have a more or less uniform liquid. If you do not have an immersion blender, but want your preserves to be a bit less chunky, you might could try a potato masher; or, transfer the preserves in batches to a blender and pulse unttil you have reached your desired consistency.
Really. Just spend the $30 or so and buy one an immersion blender already – I use mine for everything from jams and jellies to sauces and salad dressings.
Some chunks are fine – this is home made, after all, not some big batch jelly from the market.
Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes more, until the mixture has thickened a bit; then transfer to prepared canning jars and process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
Set aside to cool for 24 hours before enjoying on, well, yeh, toast and muffins and waffles and such, sure…
just imagine how very fine these preserves would be spread over brie, then baked.
With or without the pastry wrapping, this is gonna be a part of my remaining holidaze offerings to friends and family.