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This holiday season I was thinking of flavors that would put me in the holiday spirit when it came to me. Pear jam made with honey. Not to be confused with a 1990s grunge band, pear jam is a delicious gift to give for the holidays. With notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove, this pear jam recipe will have you spreading Yuletide cheer in no time! It’s so easy and delicious that you’ll want to make some extra for yourself!
Is there anything better than a piece of toast or a biscuit topped with a dollop of jam? Especially homemade jam. Not many things are more homey and comforting than jam that has been made in someone’s kitchen. Up until not too long ago, I used to think that people who made their own jam must be wizards. Jam has always seemed like one of those things that only other people made, and then I tried it. Honestly, it’s so easy that anyone can do it with a few simple ingredients and not much equipment.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE JAM
Do you make jam in a pot? A pressure canner? I don’t know. Help!
The simple answer is that foods with low acidity need to be canned in a pressure canner. For this jam, though, all you need is an inexpensive water bath canner with a rack. A water bath canner is really just a big porcelain stock pot that will hold about ten canning jars depending on their size. They also come with a rack that makes removing your jars easier and keeps them from coming in contact with the bottom of the canner.
In addition to the canner pot, you will need some mason jars (I prefer 8-ounce jelly jars), a ladle, and something to remove the hot jars from boiling water. You could get creative or just use a jar lifter which is a nifty set of tongs made specifically to fit over mason jars.
MAKING SPICED HONEY PEAR JAM
Now that you have your equipment, you will need the ingredients. About 8 ripe pears, a fresh lemon, fruit pectin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, and a 16-ounce Don Victor® Orange Blossom Comb Honey Globe Jar. Before getting your jam mixture ready, fill your canner to the line on the inside and set it to simmer. Add your jelly jars and let them get warm while you make your jam.
Cube and peel the pears with a paring knife and put them in a large pot. To the pears, add the juice of one lemon and spices. Stir together and taste test it to make sure your flavors are where you want them to be before adding the fruit pectin powder. Heat to boiling for a minute or so to combine the spices and pears, then add a jar Don Victor® Honey, or about a cup and a half.
Note that Don Victor® Honey has a honeycomb in it which, by the way, is edible and delicious! Hold the honeycomb in the jar with a fork and save it for later. Since it is edible, it’s perfectly fine if little chunks of honeycomb get in your jam mixture. Let the mixture boil until thickened on the back of a spoon, or about 5-8 minutes.
HOW TO USE A WATER BATH CANNER
When your jam mixture is the correct consistency, use a ladle to transfer the mixture into the warm and sterilized jelly jars. I may or may not have been going a little too fast and spilled a some hot jam on my hand. I don’t recommend that, so please pour slowly and carefully.
Now that your jars are filled, put the tops on, lower the rack into the canner, and use your jar lifter to lower the jars into the water one at a time. Turn the stove up from simmering to boil the jars for *10 minutes. If you live at an altitude of more than 1000 feet like I do, you will need to adjust your boiling time. There are altitude charts available online. We are at 5280 feet in Denver so I boiled mine for 20 minutes.
Remove the jars from the boiling water and let them cool for several hours. If your jam looks runny, don’t worry. It will thicken as it cools. It could take 24-48 hours to really look like jam.
GIVING THE GIFT OF HOMEMADE PEAR JAM
Now you are ready to give the gift of jam. There are so many ways you can present your gift; make cute labels, put it in a gift basket, or add a piece of fabric and a ribbon to dress up the jar and pass them out to your friends and family. No matter how you choose to present your gift, it’s sure to be a winner.
You could also gift your homemade pear jam along with a Don Victor® Orange Blossom Comb Honey Globe Jar. Don Victor® Honey is a delicious addition to your holiday recipes and can also be an easy, inexpensive, gourmet gift. Think Secret Santa, a teacher gift, or anyone else who would appreciate a little sweetness this holiday season.
Cover your jelly jars with a round piece of fabric and ribbon to make them extra festive. Set them aside in a pretty basket if you wish, ready to hand out to your friends, family, and coworkers.
USING HONEY INSTEAD OF SUGAR
I like to use honey because it has more flavor than sugar. Don Victor® Honey is a high quality raw, filtered honey. It is not heated in any way prior to being packaged so it had a bold, delicious flavor.
In general, when substituting honey for sugar in a recipe you will use about half the amount. For instance, the original recipe for this jam called for three cups of sugar, but I only use a cup and a half of honey.
Both the pear jam and honey are a delicious addition to toast, biscuits, or homemade vanilla scones. Spread some honey along with a piece of honeycomb for a delicious treat!