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9 In Preserve

This Vanilla Pear Jam Will Change Your Life

I have a weird relationship with pears. Like figs, I can’t stand them fresh- they have a weird texture but I love the flavor. So each year when the neighbor’s and our back-40 ancient pear trees start raining down fruit, I turn to preserving to take advantage of the bountiful fruit. My favorite way, and a staple in my homestead pantry, is vanilla pear jam.

Vanilla Pear Jam- the best way to preserve the pear harvest!

This pear jam recipe was originally inspired by this Vanilla Pear jam recipe from Food in Jars. I’ve made several batches over the years, and have played around with the sugar quantity and used Pamona’s Pectin, and have arrived at what I consider the perfect jam. It can be eaten with fancy cheese, plain on toast or a scone, or with the humble peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Seriously, this jam is amazing. I have never had anything quite like it from the store. I makes a perfect gift, uses up lots of pears, doesn’t have pounds of sugar, and is just divine. You couldn’t ask a jam for more.

Vanilla pear jam is the perfect way to use up the pear harvest!

My vanilla pear Jam uses Pamona’s Pectin to set, or thicken, the jam. Pectin is something that occurs naturally in fruit, and some jam can set fine without pectin, like blackberry. Some, like pears, have very little natural pectin so you need to add additional pectin in order for it to set. Most commercial pectins, such as pouches of liquid pectin, rely on the added sugar to activate with the pectin, and quite a bit of it. While I’m not opposed to sugar, we eat a lot of jam in my house, and I just can’t bring myself to make something that’s 50-80% sugar!

I really like using Pamona’s because it activates from calcium, as opposed to sugar. This means you can use much less sugar in your jam, so your jam is more fruit than sugar. Pamona’s Pectin consists of two parts: calcium water and the powdered pectin. First you mix up the calcium water, which is just adding the given powder a measured amount of water. This gets mixed into your recipe. The pectin powder first gets mixed into the sugar, then added to the recipe. I buy mine at Whole Foods and you can easily find it online.

Use Pamona's Pectin for low sugar Vanilla Pear Jam- the best way to preserve the pear harvest!Use Pamona's Pectin for low sugar Vanilla Pear Jam- the best way to preserve the pear harvest!

This pear jam recipe can easily be scaled up or down, just divide in quantities of 4. I’ve left the pectin measurements in teaspoons to make this easier. Because you blend the fruit up, it’s not necessary to cut the fruit very consistently, so you can cut up a mess of fruit very quickly. You do want very ripe fruit, so leave on the counter until soft. I use Bartlett pears, and harvest once I notice they start to fall off the tree, then leave on a tray until yellow. My fruit is imperfect, and I just hack out any wormy spots or bruises.

Pears for Vanilla Pear Jam- the best way to preserve the pear harvest! IMG_6647

I would recommend using fresh vanilla beans, as older ones get more brittle and often break into small pieces when you’re scraping out the seeds. It’s much easier to fish out full beans than bitty bits of beans. Trust me, I know from experience. When you’re finished with them, don’t throw them out. Rinse off and let dry, and set aside to infuse sugar or add to vodka for extract.

I love this vanilla pear jam, and hope you will, too! If you’re new to canning, consider buying my Introduction to Home Canning ebook!

Vanilla pear jam- the best way to preserve the pear harvest!

 

Pear Vanilla Jam

Ingredients

  • yield: 11 half-pint jars
  • 16 cups cored and chopped thin-skinned pears (no need to peel)
  • 4 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Pamona’s Pectin powder
  • 10 teaspoons Pamona's Pectin calcium water

Instructions

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine pears, vanilla beans and all the goodness that was scraped out.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft can easily be smashed with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Remove the vanilla pods. Use an immersion blender to break the fruit down into a smooth sauce. Add the calcium water.
  4. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the pectin powder with the sugar, then stir into the fruit.
  5. Bring to a roiling boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Fill jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
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https://sweetbeegarden.com/vanilla-pear-jam/


Vanilla Pear Jam- perfect on scones, with cheese or even the humble PB&J. Read more for the recipe and learn the best way to preserve your pears!

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Jamie Marie
    August 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    It looks awesome! I myself am not a big fan of pears either. I will have to try this one thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Melissa
      August 23, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Thanks Jamie! I wish I liked them more, they are so plentiful! But at least they make great jam 🙂

  • Reply
    Delci @ Heritage Club Stables
    August 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Yum! I made Pear Jam a few years ago and it was so good! Thanks for the reminder and the recipe!

    • Reply
      Melissa
      August 23, 2016 at 10:34 am

      You are welcome, I hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Marianne
    August 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Have you ever tried to use less sugar?

    • Reply
      Melissa
      August 24, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      I haven’t, but I’m sure you can! Pamona’s pectin can be used with very little, you just need enough to blend in the powder, so I’m sure you could go as low as a 1/4 c. Sugar acts as a bit of a preservative, but pears are acidic enough to not really need them, and can safely.

    • Reply
      Melissa
      August 24, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      I haven’t, but I’m sure you can! Pamona’s pectin can be used with very little, you just need enough to blend in the powder, so I’m sure you could go as low as a 1/4 c. Sugar acts as a bit of a preservative, but pears are acidic enough to not really need them, and can safely.

  • Reply
    CA cookie
    July 7, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Pomona’s Pectin calls for lemon or lime juice in their recipes. Your recipe does not call for it , Have you had any problems with the setting of your jam?

    • Reply
      Melissa Keyser
      July 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      No problems setting at all. Lemon or lime is just for increasing the acidity, it doesn’t affect the set. Pears have a high enough acidity to not need the extra acid to safely can.

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