Saturday, 4 October 2014

Pear and cinnamon jam

A few weeks ago a friend gave me a big bag of pears from her garden.  They were lovely - sound and still very firm.  I lay them out and they have been slowly ripening as pears do.  I should have used them last weekend but between lack of time and not feeling wonderful, I didn't.

I looked up the spices that go well with pear and fancied cinnamon (I could have used cloves or ginger too).  This is what I did.

I peeled, cored and chopped the pears and placed them in a bit of water and lemon juice (from a bottle).  The lemon juice was not only for preventing browning but also to help with setting as pears, I gather, are low in pectin.  Each time I added more chopped pears I gave them a little stir to cover them with the lemon-water.

When they were all prepared, I added water until about half way up the pears, added a small stick of cinnamon and simmered it all until the pears were soft but not mushy.

I measured out the pear mixture and to each pint I added about 1lb of jam sugar, stirred it all well and allowed it to stand until the sugar had disolved completely.  I added a bit more lemon juice too, just to be on the safe side and also because it is a very sweet mixture.

Then into the fridge went the saucers, into the oven went the sterilised jars and onto the heat went the maslin pan.  It boiled away vigorously for about ten minutes or so and the first time I tested, it had reached setting point.  Quite a soft setting point but that's what I wanted, because the chunks of pear remained distinct, they didn't mush into the water at all.

I removed the cinnamon stick before pouring into jars and sealing.

Not terribly scientific, is it, but it seems to have worked and it tastes and smells wonderful.  I've never made jam with pears before so I wasn't at all sure but it worked!  I now have nine pots plus a little left over for my breakfast toast tomorrow morning (or maybe in a little while on my fresh made bread).

I think when I make it again I will use a little less sugar and see how that works.  It might also be nice if the pears are pureed.  Nice to have choices and alternatives.

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