I'd never made a jam from pears before and, after lots of Internet searching, I decided to have a go at making Pear & Ginger Jam.
I have to be totally honest with you guys and let you know that my attempt was a bit of a disaster. It was all going really well and I was just ready to bottle my jam, which looked and tasted great, when the phone rang.
Oh why did I answer it? It was one of those sales calls that you get rid of within seconds, but that was all it took for my jam to go from a lovely clear and sweet concoction to, what can only be described as burnt to a cinder.
I was bagging it up to throw it in the bin when I suddenly decided to pour it into a couple of jars instead, just to see what it would taste like when set. Well, it does look quite dark, but it actually tastes ok - a bit like caramelised toffee apples, though personally, I do think there is a bit of a burnt after taste. Mum and Martin both like it though.
So, I thought it was worth sharing the recipe, but please, please, please, if your phone rings at a crucial stage in the process, just let it ring!
3cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2kg pears, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2cm dice
Rind and juice of 2 lemons
Approx 500ml water
Approx 1kg preserving sugar
5 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped
- You will need a piece of clean muslin cloth. Into this put the fresh ginger with the rind and the pips of the lemon. Tie up with string.
- Put the pears and juice of the lemon into a saucepan with the water and the bag of muslin and bring up slowly to hear and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the pears are soft.
- Add the sugar and the stem ginger to the pears and cook for a further 50-60 minutes or until it is at setting point, 105 degrees, skimming the top of the jam as you go. It is important to keep stirring to avoid the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan.
- Squeeze as much out of the muslin as you can to gain all of the lovely ginger flavour.
- When it is done put into sterilised jars. You should have around 2kg in weight
Actually, on tasting it, to be able to take this photo, I do think it tastes pretty good. I think the after taste is actually a strong hit of ginger, rather than it being burnt. I think there's every chance it will get eaten pretty quickly.
Here's to getting it right next year!