Saturday, February 9, 2013

Seckel Pear Ginger Jam

 Yeah.   Seckel pears are just cute.    All red and green and tiny and smelling of musky adventures in crowded cafes. 

These are not your everyday pears.   These are something special.

When I found some late harvest boxes of these I had to get one.    They're Washington pears - marketed as Sugar Pears.

The truth is, they weren't very sweet - picked too green, I expect - but once cooked up, they were divine, divine, divine.

I used the whole box to make some Pear-Ginger Jam.

[Note:  This recipe can easily be made with plain old canned pears from the store.   Way easier and faster.]

I peeled and chopped the whole 4 lb box and ended up with about 8 cups of fruit.   Since pears are usually pretty hard when I do them, I boil them in half as much water as fruit.    8 cups of fruit boiled in 4 cups of water.   Cook them until soft.   They'll turn a lovely golden pink.  

While the pears are cooking, chop up the crystalized ginger.   I like finer bits of ginger, so I take my time and make it small.   I use 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger for every cup of pears.   8 cups of pears, 1 cup of chopped ginger.    You can use less if you like less of a gingery punch.

Once they're soft,  I added 1 tablespoon of low/no sugar pectin for every cup of fruit that I started with.   8 cups of fruit, 8 tablespoons of pectin.

Note bene [This is Latin for Pay Attention!]:  Don't dump pectin in boiling liquid.   It clumps.   I hate that.    Either mix it in a cup of cold water, or sprinkle it daintily into the pot while stirring.   Try not to get it on the stirring utensil.  I'd have said spoon, but I use a big flat end spatula to stir my jam with, and I always get it all over the spatula when I sprinkle.   I much prefer mixing the pectin in cold water.

Once the pectin is in there, bring it to a hard rolling boil.    Boil it hard for 1 minute.  

After the pectin has boiled hard, I add the sugar and the chopped ginger.   I use half as much sugar as fruit.   8 cups of fruit, 4 cups of sugar.    That plus the candied ginger makes it plenty plenty sweet.

Bring it back to a boil - a hard rolling boil - and let it boil for 1 minute.   Take it off the heat, ladle into jars.    I processed in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes to seal up the jars. 

You can easily cut this recipe down:

4 cups cooked or canned fruit [with the juice]
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
4 tablespoons low sugar pectin
2 cups sugar

[...and you can cut that in half again, if you like.]

Looking for more great jam recipes?   Check out my ebook:  A Simple Jar of Jam  at   You can preview the book by clicking the link on the sidebar.  Every purchase helps support this site.  Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Yummy. Your recipes and adventures in creating a rural life are beautiful.


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