On the most recent grocery trip I resisted the call of the plums and tomatoes. I was going out of town for several days and knew I wouldn’t be able to process them all in time. However… I was not able to resist the pears. The pears were rock solid, though, so I figured I could buy a bunch and cook with them when I got back.
I read up about how I could use the pears and I decided I wanted to just cut them up and jar them in syrup. Maybe for pear bread, pear cake, or just eat out of the jar. I decided on this recipe: Old Fashioned Pear Preserves
I discovered I was in a ‘jam’ (ha ha punny), because you need to jar pears when they are firm. These pears needed to get in the jars before I left AND needed a full night to soak in the juice. I got all my supplies out ASAP, peeled and cut the pears into big chunks, then got them boiling in the sugar.
I added the lemon after 15 minutes, then gave the pears another 20 minute stew. I didn’t want them to be too squishy. I took the pot off the heat and added 1 tsp of ground cardamom and 1 vanilla bean. The pot was covered and left to cool and soak for the night.
The next morning I got my jars in to boil and sanitize. Then I heat up the pears and got them to a boil for a few minutes. I fished out the vanilla pods. Them I packed the pears into the jars with some syrup. This made just exactly 4 pints of pears. I heated them in a boil bath for 10 minutes and all the jars sealed nicely.
When I was done I had a whole bunch of yummy cardamom, vanilla syrup left, so I filtered this through a sieve and cheese cloth and put it back on the stove to cook off a bit.
When it had reduced to a thicker syrup I poured this into two half-pints and gave these a boil for 10 minutes as well. I had a little left over, so I cooled it in the fridge, then had some on a toaster waffle and wow was it fantastic!