Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Perfectly Wicked Pear Preserves

     Imagine a lazy saturday morning, a hot cup of coffee, your family sitting around the kitchen table, and a steamy plate of pancakes. But wait, something's missing! The only thing that could make that scene any better is if you added a bowl of homemade pear preserves! YUM!
      My in-laws have a pear tree that produced like crazy this fall! They graciously gave us tons of pears. So far I've made pear crisp, pear sauce, and of course, pear preserves. I didn't know that I loved pears so much until this fall.
     This pear preserves recipe is what I came up with after reading numerous old recipes and then giving them my new take on it.  Oh! Let me just say, don't be overwhelmed with preserving fruits and veggies. Yes, peeling those suckers takes awhile, but take your time. I turn on some Pandora and just relax. That way a HUGE bowl of pears doesn't seem intimidating, but rather an invitation to belt songs from Wicked for a good 20 minutes because I have to do something while peeling all those pears! right? :-)

     Perfectly Wicked Pear Preserves

1. In a large pot, mix 1/8 c. lemon juice and 1 cup water. (This prevents the pears from turning brown) Peel, core, and slice about 12 cups of pears and add then to the pot.

2. Drain the water mixture off the pears. Add 1/4 c. lemon juice over the pears. Measure out 2-3 cups of sugar and pour over the pears. I give the pot a good shake to make some of the sugar sift down in between the pear slices.

3. Put the lid on the pot and place in the refrigerator overnight.

4. After setting overnight, there should be a good amount of juice from the pears and sugar. Place pot on stove over medium-low heat. Heat to boiling. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or until pears are translucent and a pinkish color. You may cook longer if you want the syrup to be thicker as well. Make sure there is enough liquid throughout the cooking time so that you don't scorch the pears. Add a little water if necessary.

5. Prepare your jars and water bath. Place the lids and rings in a small pot of boiling water, and wash and rinse the jars. Put the canner on the stove and heat the water to boiling over high heat.

6. Once the pears are done cooking, add 1 tsp. ground ginger and 1tsp. nutmeg, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Turn off heat.

7. Ladle pear preserves into prepared jars. Leave 1/2 inch space at the top of the jar.  Wipe rims clean and firmly screw on the lids.

8. Place jars in the boiling water and process for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool for 24 hours.

9. Remove rings from the jars, label, and enjoy within a year!

Hope you give my Perfectly Wicked Pear Preserves a try! Do you have a favorite jam, jelly, or preserves recipe you'd like to share? I'd love to hear from you!

And here's a song from Wicked for you to enjoy! :-)

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