"I love being given homemade produce as a gift for Christmas and so decided to have a go myself! Sadly our fruit trees underperformed this year due to the terrible summer, but I did manage to find enough pears (Conference and Doyenne du Comice) to produce a few jars of preserved pears."
"This is an easy way to preserve pears for later enjoyment. Delicious served with chocolate or vanilla ice cream, or créme fraiche. I used a light syrup ratio of a cup of sugar to 2 pints of water. You could also use apple juice or white grape juice as your preserving liquid. You could even use water, though a lightly sugared solution will help the fruit retain its colour for storage longer than a few weeks."
"For spices I used cardamom, star anise and cinnamon, because I think these spices complement the flavour of the pears best. You could use nutmeg or vanilla too."
Frances, Ashridge Nurseries
Ingredients (to fill two 2-pint jars)
(adapted from a recipe at SimplyRecipes.com)
- 8-10 pears (not too ripe)
- 2 small cups of sugar
- 4 pints of water
- 2 star anise
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 storage jars (Kilner jars, like the one in our photograph, work well)
- Peel, core, and quarter the pears. Add them to a bowl of cold water that has been acidified with lemon juice or citric acid to help prevent discolouration of the pears from oxidation.
- In a large saucepan, add the sugar, water, and spices. Bring to a boil. Transfer the pear quarters from their lemon solution to the boiling sugar water. Let them come to the boil again and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pack your jars with the pears. Pour the remaining strained syrup over them to cover, leaving ½-inch of headroom from the tops of the jars. Wipe the rims with a paper towel. Put on the lids.
- If planning for long-term shelf storage (up to a year), fill the jars as in 3 above but before sealing them put them in a roasting tin with 3" water for 20 minutes in a hot oven. Close immediately on removing from the oven.
As ever, if you give a recipe a go, please do write back and tell us all about it!