Pears and Ginger – for the cold, dark winter

This is what happens when you have too many pears and not many hungry consumers (finally, the right way to use the term..). I made what some call ‘preserves’, but what i must call “Chunky Pears in Heavy Syrup“.. I often find myself with fruit floating in the syrup rather than a thick, spreadable type of substance.. Maybe, in spite of all, one ought to simmer much longer to reduce the liquid much further.

Anyway – what i have is a fragrant, tasty, sweet product, excellent as a dressing of any desert, yogourt, or even a breakfast toast or a bowl of cereal.  As a by-product i also have a lot of plain syrup i will use to produce various jellies, creams and some such nonsense. I find that 1 kg of unprocessed pears will result in roughly between 1/2 and 3/4 litre of preserve..

So, how do i go about it?

Take

  • some under-ripe pears
  • sugar – roughly about 3/4 in volume of what ready-to-go pears may amount to
  • lemon juice – i would start with 2-3 tbsp per litre of pears, then go as you like it
  • fresh ginger – optional, but if you do, start with about a tbsp of finely chopped per litre of pears
  1. Peel and chop the pears. This needs to be done fairly quickly (e.g. all at once..), as they tend to oxidize and turn to some shade of unattractive grey/black . It is ok to sprinkle the cut fruit with some of your lemon juice – it does help with keeping the appearances..
  2. In a large heavy pot carefully mix pears, whatever is left of the lemon juice, and sugar.
  3. Cover and let stand overnight. I would check after the first hour of two, to stir a bit and make sure everyone is well covered with the resulting liquid.
  4. Stir the potion and put on low fire and let simmer until pears have turned amber colour, about 2 hours. Stir occasionally, to make sure nothing wrong is happening on the bottom of the pot. If you think the syrup is still too thin, keep simmering..  But no pressure.. you can likely deal with the remaining syrup – if any, after all fruity part is dealt with.
  5. Prepare the sterilized jars – you want them ready and hot when the simmering is done.
  6. Pour in prepared jars and seal.  Now you can, if you want, place the jars in the oven (250F/120C) for quick high temperature sealing (about 20 min or until the bubbles travel up inside the jar), but it may not be necessary at all. High content of sugar will  protect your fruit for one winter at least – if they last as long..
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