Monday, October 17, 2011

Pear Vanilla Jam

          Another project this weekend was to make pear vanilla jam from the recipe on  I've made a few of her recipes since the summer and I'm trying to get a small stockpile so I can use some jars for holiday gifts.  However, what I've made so far is so good that our jam consumption has greatly increased.
          What I love about the foodinjars site aside from the great tasting recipes is that the recipes are for small batches.  Most can be completed start to finish in less than 2 hours and can be accomplished without any pricey equipment (although I do have a pressure cooker on my amazon wish list).
           This recipe appealed to me because it uses real vanilla beans.  Yum.  To make it you chop up pears, scrape out the insides of two vanilla beans, and put it all in a non-reactive pot with lots of sugar.  That is it.  The only other ingredient is pectin.  It looked like this as the sugar started dissolving.  See the clumps of vanilla paste.
        After it cooks down til the pears are tender, take out the empty pods and mash up most of the pears with either a masher or an immersion blender.
   The black specks around the edges are vanilla.  I kept trying to scrape them back in but couldn't get all of them.  I scooped the jam out into jars, processed them for 10 minutes and only an hour and a half after starting had 3 pints (1 big and 4 little) jars of pear vanilla jam.  Please go to for the recipe.
      But, the critical takeaway here is that canning doesn't have to be complicated or scary.  With just a little time and regular cooking equipment (aside from the jars) you can preserve fruit easily.  

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