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Tuesday
Nov082011

Homemade pear and vanilla jam... who knew canning was so simple?

 

I've never been that girl before.  I always wanted to be that girl... the one who makes her own jams, preserving the flavor of the season for her family and friends to enjoy all winter long.  Today, windows open enjoying the fresh fall air, I made homemade pear vanilla jam.  Today I was that girl.  Finally.

 

 

Out of necessity I was nudged out of my comfort zone and gave canning a whirl.  I've always wondered why they call it "canning" and not "jarring"?  Anyone?  You do infact put the jam in jars not cans.   

I'm cooking for a party of 200 this Friday (yikes, what am I doing at the computer?) which is to be heavy hors d'oeuvres passed throughout the evening.  For one hors d'oeuvre, I came up with the idea of making a pear shaped tartlet on which to put a small slice of Gorgonzola or Brie cheese and top it with a dollop of pear jam.   Unfortunately, the good "online" pear jam was $13.95 per jar plus shipping.  I'll need about 6 jars... not cost effective for this use.  I decided to try making it myself.  I consulted the blog www.foodinjars.com for ideas and found just the recipe I was looking for.  Using a current recipe from a trusted source is key because the last thing you want to do is get someone you love sick.  

Wow.  The flavor.  The essense of pear and vanilla.  This jam will knock your socks off.  So worth it.

I cannot get over how simple canning is.  Who knew? And this recipe didn't even require that I peel the pears first.    

 

 

I have to admit though, after I bought the big canning pot and all the cool canning supplies, it would have been less expensive to go ahead and purchase a bunch of  jars of pear jam from American Spoon.  But this was so worth the experience and the results were fabulous.  And now I'm ready for canning the next time.... because I'm now THAT girl.

 

Pear Vanilla Jam

(recipe adapted from the Pear Vanilla Jam recipe of www.foodinjars.com)

makes enough for seven half pint jars

 

8 cups chopped Barlett pears (these are thin skinned so peeling not necessary)

2 vanilla beans, split and scraped

4 cups sugar

1 packet liquid pectin (3 ounces)

In a large pot, combine pears, sugar and vanilla beans plus the luscious gooey scrapings inside.  Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft. Remove the solid vanilla beans and using an immersion blender or potato masher, break down the fruit into a smooth sauce.

Add the pectin and bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes to activate the pectin.  

Heat your canning lids over low heat in a small pot of water while you are preparing the jam to ensure a good seal.

Fill your half pint sized jars.  Wipe rims to remove any residual jam.  Apply lids and screw on the rims. 

Process the the filled jars in boiling water for 10 minutes (start the timer when the pot has returned to a boil) Remove processed jars from the pot and place them on a towel lined counter top. Let them cool undisturbed for at least two hours.  During this time the lids should seal.  Check to ensure the jars have sealed by pushing down on the center of the lid.  If it feels solid and doesn't move, it is sealed.

 

Click here for printable recipe. 

 

Look for Tarte du Jour on Facebook!

 

Have you tried canning jam or something else?  I'd love to hear your comments.  Please click here.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (17)

Lisa, Beautiful photos as always! I too always thought making jams, jellies, etc was really difficult until I made my own cranberry jelly for Thanksgiving one year because I was tired of the canned taste of the....well, the canned stuff. So simple. And if you use the sauce in the next week or freeze and use in a year or so, you don't even need to do the sterilizing, etc. Because cranberries have their own pectin, you get the saucy consistancy without adding anything extra. I make up a bunch of batches in the fall when you can get cranberries, then freeze it in little plastic containers to use throughout the year on roast chix. Never gotten sick yet. My favorite part of a roast chix or a roast turkey.

1 bag washed cranberries
1 cup sugar (3/4 cup if you want it less sweet)
3/4 cup water (or orange juice if you want t bit of orange flavor)
1/4 tsp. salt

Bring water/juice, sugar, salt and berries to boil in a non-reactive sauce pan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until all or most all of the berries pop after about 5 minutes. If you like a chunkier sauce, let 1/4 of the berries pop and take it off the heat. For a smoother sauce, mash the berries against the pan. Cool and refrigerate and eat in 7 days, or freeze and eat within a year.

To make a nice cranberry-pear chutney (I usually make this variation because I love the sweet pears with meat and the tart cranberries), add the following to the berries:

1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 medium ripe or slightly firm pears, washed, pitted, cut into 1/4 inch dice (I don't peel but you can if you wish)

THIS is REALLY heavenly!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

11.8.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Melvin

This sounds so good - I think I'll have to take up canning, too.

11.8.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynda

Yay! Welcome to the jam making club ;-) I'm mildly obsessed with making jams, something I must have inherited from my grandmother.

My husband would be crazy for this jam as it contains his favourite ingredients: pear and vanilla!
Is there any possibility that pectin could be left out or replaced with something else? Like lemon?

Lisa, I do wish I was at that party getting to taste these gorgeous looking gorgonzola tartlet with this pear jam. I must try this jam since I tend to make the summery ones, so why not with pears? I thought it was just for amazing belle-maman but in the past 3 years I've been making my own and the taste is SO much better! Love how you pair yours up with savoury - it's a lovely touch. Bon courage at the party - 200? Wow, chapeau to you! Lovely post, as always.

Lisa, this recipe sounds delish! i love the gorgonzola combination too! yes, 'jarring' is ez and quick. girlfriends and i have gotten together for the past 15 or so years to make mango chutney and mango jam. the chutney is a little more time consuming with all the chopping but everyone has a job when we get together....the jam is ez and delicious too. makes great gifts! mangos with dark cherries is currently my favorite jam! joan

11.9.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoan gamso

Anne - thank you for the mouth-watering recipe! I love he combination of pears and cranberries in the chutney you described. Terrific!

Your timing is genius! I have my winter CSA pick up today and pears are in season like gangbusters. Would love to make some pear jam. I have to say I'm a bit mad for jam. It's so easy to can (or 'jar' really, you are right). I often have used Pomona's Organic Pectin with fruit I've picked which makes it completely easy and allows use of very little sugar or of honey (and alternative sweeteners)l As the Queen of Tarts, you must begin to 'jam'; so many options!

11.9.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBoulder Locavore

You're not just "that" girl, you're the "it" girl, Lisa. We will be having a jam session very soon after reading this recipe. LOVE the pear-shaped, Gorgonzola and jam-topped tartlet. Brilliant.

Beautiful photos, too.

That jam looks and sounds absolutely divine! Something I've never had...

Cheers,

Rosa

11.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRosa

Well done! I've always wanted to make my own jam too. Terrified though. I like that its got your endorsement of 'easy' though! I think the flavor combo of pear and vanilla sounds heavenly :)

Good luck this weekend!!!

11.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterParsley Sage

Canning really isn't hard, once you've done it once. Your jam looks beautiful and I suspect way better than the $13.95 jars!

11.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Oh Lisa, this jam look so pretty, so delicate and I love how you served with cheese...so elegant!
I am afraid of canning...always afraid that if not done right I will be having a culture of weird stuff growing in my fridge...one day I'll give a try.
Hope you are having a wonderful week and thanks for this lovely jam :-)

11.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJuliana

Good point on canning vs jarring. No idea why we call it what we do! I just started canning this summer and agree it is so easy! This recipe looks outstanding and I might have to continue canning in order to try it out. I hope feeding 200 people went well!!

I have yet to make any jam other than strawberries. I am waiting for quince to come to the markets so that I can try that but this one also intrigued me. The color is so nice. Well done. I might try to be that girl too but I am sure it won't last too long, I am too lazy sometimes :)

11.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterIlke

Reading about your jam makes the mouth water and pear and vanilla sounds like such a perfect combination. Think this will be on the holiday menu. When people ask, we'll just say we got it from that girl...

Thank you for a wonderful recipe using pears. My tree is loaded and ready to pick. BTW, canning comes from the word cannister. It was shortened to cans when glass jars were replaced with cylindrical tins for easy transport for troops during the Revlotionary War...France 1809 (Nicolas Francois Appert developed the method of preserving food via vacuum-sealing). There is history about how canning came to be. A simple google search will bring it up...Keep in mind, you are using a canner to boil your jars. Boni

08.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBoni
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