When I came across this recipe...(well, to be honest I was hungry) I wished that I had pears and energy and I would have been in the kitchen never-minding that it was 10:30 pm. Since I did not have pears I was off to the Farmer's Market the very next day, where I bought some lovely green D'Anjou pears. Unfortunately they were green as regards both colour and ripeness - so I had to
have another lesson in delayed gratification wait for six long days to make and then taste this jam. This is a small-batch recipe (making 8 half-pint jars) so it is not a huge investment in time. The dividends are pretty fantastic though.
We have tried this with a nice sharp cheese on flatbread. Then with almond butter on celery. Of course on toast. But most deliciously drizzled (generously) over some nice thick Greek yogurt and topped with chopped dark chocolate. I am pretty sure I heard angels singing.
Vanilla Pear Jam
(from Food in Jars with a very little tweak)
8 cups chopped pears* (no need to peel)
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
4 cups sugar
1 package pectin crystals
In a large, heavy pot combine chopped pears, sugar and vanilla beans. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the sugar melts and the fruit can be easily mashed with the back of a wooden spoon. Remove the vanilla bean pods and use an immersion blender to make a fairly smooth sauce.
Stir in the pectin and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil for five minutes. Remove from heat.
Fill hot, sterilized jars. Wipe rims to be sure they are clean. Apply lids (that have been simmering in water while you are cooking your jam) and screw on rims. Process jars in a hot water canner for 10 minutes (that is boil for 10 minutes). Remove jars from canner and place on a towel -lined counter to cool. When they are completely cool (after a couple of hours), the lids should be sealed. You can check the seal by pushing down on the center of the lid - if it is sealed it will be slightly concave and solid feeling.
Makes 8 half-pint (or 250 ml) jars.
*I used mostly green D'Anjou with a couple of Red D'Anjou pears (just because I liked the way the red ones looked at the market and I thought that perhaps the red skins might warm up the colour of the jam a bit) but any smooth-skinned pears should work equally well.
I have already given away half of what I made (to carefully selected and especially well-loved people) and promised one of the remaining jars to Jonathon. Hmmmmm, probably need to add pears to the list for the Farmer's Market run tomorrow!