Rachel Saunders has developed hundreds of recipes over the years simply by flavoring her jams with different herbs and spices. To vary the pear jam here, for example, add a split vanilla bean or a cinnamon stick in place of the cardamom.
4 pounds ripe Bartlett pears, —peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 pounds sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon honey
How to Make It
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, toss the pears with the sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Put a metal spoon in the freezer. Transfer the pears and their liquid to a wide, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Put the crushed cardamom in a tea ball and add it to the pot. Cook the pears over high heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid starts to thicken and the pears become translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
Transfer one-third of the pears to a food processor or a food mill and puree until smooth. Add the puree to the pot. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring, until the jam is very thick, about 5 minutes. To test the jam, drop a small amount on the chilled spoon and freeze for about 30 seconds. When you tilt the spoon, the jam should be thick and run down the spoon slowly. If the jam is runny, cook it for a few minutes longer, then test again. Remove the tea ball and stir in the honey.
Ladle the jam into three clean, 1-pint jars and let cool completely. Tightly close the jars and store the pear jam in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
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