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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. 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 honey 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.
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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 stockpot 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. 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 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 as 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 JAM
If you choose to gift your honey pear jam to friends and family, 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.
Decorating the top of your jelly jars with fabric is super simple. Cut a piece of fabric in a circle to use as a cover for your jelly jars and fasten with a 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. 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.
- 8-9 ripe pears, cored and peeled
- 1 lemon, or about 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 tbsp fruit pectin powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 jar Don Victor® Honey, or 1 1/2 cups
- Fill canner with water and set it to simmer. Add empty jelly jars to sterilize and warm.
- Core, peel, and cube the pears and put them in a pot. Add the juice of one lemon, spices, and fruit pectin. Boil while stirring frequently for about a minute
- Add 1 1/2 cups Don Victor® Honey and boil until thickened enough to stick to the spoon.
- Spoon jam mixture into jelly jars, put the top on, and put them in a water bath canner, increasing the heat to a easy boil.
- Boil for *10 minutes (if over 1000 feet, adjust for altitude)
- Remove from canner and allow to cool. Jam will set within 24-48 hours.
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