Jam from my neighbor’s pear tree

sonia's pearsA neighbor has a dwarf pear tree (Keiffer semi-dwarf, to be precise) that has been pretty prolific this year, and she kindly told me to help myself.

I tried not to be too greedy, but I did get enough to make this pear ginger jam and then share it with her. She pronounced it awesome, so I guess it’s one I’ll be making again (especially if she keeps offering up pears).

Here’s the recipe for pear and ginger preserves, from “Canning for a new generation; Bold, fresh flavors for the modern pantry” by Liana Krissoff:

3 pounds pears, peeled, cored and diced (about 7 cups). I can’t remember my neighbor’s variety, but it’s not the usual kind you find at the store. And they were pretty hard.

3 tablespoons finely diced fresh ginger (I’m lazy — I just grated a big chunk, more than 3 tablespoons)

grated zest of 1 lemon (oops, I skipped)

3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice (I cheated and used bottled lemon juice)

1 1/2 cups sugar (I liked that it was so little)

Put a small plate in the freezer.

Prepare jars.

Put all the ingredients in a wide preserving pan (ok, a big pot). Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are very soft and translucent (these pears were so firm that I took a potato masher to them, leaving some texture) and a small dab of the jam spooned onto the chilled plate becomes somewhat firm (it will not gel), 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir gently for a few seconds to distribute the fruit in the liquid.

Ladle the hot jam in the jars in the usual way, water-bath for 5 minutes, make sure seal pops… Done.

I just discovered Liana Krissoff has a blog, though it looks like she struggles to keep it going. Just like most of us.

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