Pear Ginger Perfection

Oct
10

Post by community member:

pear

It’s pear season.

I heart pears.

Mostly, I heart pears in Pear Ginger Jam. I heart Pear Ginger Jam.

This year, I got some pears right off of my mom’s tree. I’ve never picked pears before. We usually get them from generous friends who pick for us.

When we saw them ripening on the tree, my first question was: How do you know when they’re ripe? None of us knew, so I looked it up.

I heart Google.

Turns out that pears ripen from the inside out. That means that by the time they’re soft on the tree, they’re way too ripe in the middle. You have to pick them before they get soft.

But when?

When they’ve gone from rock hard to just a bit of give when you push your thumb on it. Hold it in your hand and put your thumb on it. Push. If there’s a bit of give, it’s OK to pick.

Also, pears hang down on their stems. If you hold the pear and lift it up horizontally, the stem should separate from the tree easily. If the pear doesn’t come off easily, then leave it.

It’s true. Note: Bosc and Asian pears behave differently. If you’re picking those, then do more research.

Because I have No Patience when it comes to ripening fruit in boxes all over my house [remind me someday to tell you about the year we had a box of pears rot on the floor because we forgot about them. The wood floor is permanently stained. It’s an attractive stain, but it would have been nicer if it were that color all over the floor and not just where the box was.] I cook my pears right away now.

Yes, I cut them when they’re too hard to cut. I risk life and limb and digit trying to carve out the core. Then I put them in a big pot with some water and cook the living daylights out of them until they’re really really soft.

Then I make Pear Ginger Jam. Because I heart Pear Ginger Jam.

Really. Just look at that picture. It’s perfection in a jar.

How to make Pear Ginger Jam: Printable

5 or 6 cups of cooked pears (cooked until they’re soft)
3 T Ball pectin (1 pkg)
5 cups sugar
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped as fine as you want

Combine the pears and pectin. Bring to hard boil. Boil one minute. Add sugar and candied ginger. Return to hard boil. Boil one minute. Ladle into jars and process for canning.


Troubleshooting: First a confession. Often, I have too much fruit for a recipe. I try to add as much fruit and as little pectin as I can get away with. This time was no exception. And whoops! my jam didn’t set. It got sort of thickened, but not jam like. I figured that it just didn’t get hot enough in the pot I was using.

Tip: Use a pot with a wide bottom – more surface area next to the heat source.

We kept some of the non thick stuff to use for pancake topping. The rest I took out of the jars and dumped back in a pot and heated it until it reached a hard boil and I let it boil for a few minutes. I could tell that it had finished thickening. I poured it back into the jars (I did lose some volume because more of the water boiled out of the jam), put new lids on and sealed them again. Perfect thick jam.

My point is this. Experiment if you want to. Don’t panic if things don’t come out perfectly. It’s not a contest. There is no Permanent Record. It’s food. It’s supposed to be fun. If you use your head and adjust things a bit, you can probably fix it. Ask around, join a forum like the one at Chickens in the Road, or ask me in a comment. Chances are someone will have some tip to help you.

Happy preserving!

Robin from Rurification blogs at Rurification.

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Comments

  1. GrannyTrace says:

    Oh yum..
    Thanks for sharing I’ve never made pear jam before, but will now.
    Happy Fall
    Granny Trace

    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  2. aprilejoi says:

    I will be picking up candied ginger today ( can I use regular fresh ginger or dried ginger?). I was looking for a pear jam recipe to try. I heart pears too!

  3. Robin from Rurification says:

    Hi aprilejoi! You could use fresh or dried ginger. Since they aren’t already sweetened, I’d add a bit more sugar to compensate. They’ll be a lot sharper when you bite into them, so it might also be a good idea to mince into tiny pieces.

  4. aprilejoi says:

    thank you. and what kind of pear is in your picture? It looks like the pears I was given but no one knew what kind they were. thanks again!

  5. claudia says:

    Did you add water to cook the pears and did you strain the pears and use no liquid when you made the jam? I have pears now and would like to try this recipe.

  6. claudia says:

    Sorry. I just reread and saw that you used the water to cook the pears, but did you leave any of it for the jam and how much?

  7. Robin from Rurification says:

    aprilejoi – I don’t know what kind of pear that is. I’m pretty pear ignorant. We generally get them in boxes from friends with no idea what kind they are.

    claudia – Leave all the liquid. You’ll need it to dissolve the pectin in.

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