Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ginger Pear Preserves

I thought my adventures in food preservation were over once the cold weather hit, but I realized that fall brings more fruits for preserving.  Apples, pears, cranberries and citrus fruits are all in season during the cooler months and make excellent ingredients for jams, chutneys, spreads and preserves.

My friend Jennifer and I spent this past snowy Saturday canning three recipes, including these Ginger Pear Preserves.  The finished product is thick and golden with a slightly tart taste from the limes.  The combination of ginger and citrus is subtle and refreshing.  Plus, preserves are easy to make!  You dump the ingredients into a pot, cook them for a specified amount of time, then pour them into prepared jars and process according to the recipe.

My only complaint is that the recipe only yielded 3 half-pint jars.  My book cautioned against doubling a recipe (may not cook properly), but this is a really small yield!  The preserves were great, though, and I think you'll enjoy them.  Since the yield was smaller than expected you could even make this recipe without canning the preserves since you could probably just store in in the fridge and consume it within 30 days.

I'm planning to use the preserves on wheat toast, English muffins or as a filling for some Christmas cookies!  If you're new to canning, Ball has some great resources to get you started(I wasn't paid or perked by Ball, but I do love their recipes and they taught me a lot about canning!)

Ginger Pear Preserves
recipe yield says 7 half-pint jars, but I ended up with half that yield
from Ball

5-1/2 cups finely chopped cored peeled pears (about 8 medium)
Grated zest and juice of 3 limes
2-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp freshly grated gingerroot
7 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE pears, lime zest and juice, sugar and gingerroot in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and test gel. If preserves break from spoon in a sheet or flake, it is at the gel stage. Skim off foam. If your mixture has not reached the gel stage, return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 5 minutes. Repeat gel stage test and cooking as needed.
3.) LADLE hot preserves into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
4.) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


  1. Learning to can and preserve is one of those things I keep saying I'm going to do. These preserves are added to the many reasons I need to learn!

  2. I made this today out of large bag of pears I bought on clearance at my local fruit stand for 39 cents. They looked terrible but they still felt firm. Once I got them home, peeled them, and removed bad spots, they looked awesome. This is the best tasting stuff I've canned all year. I poured some over vanilla ice cream and it was fabulous. I made some to give away for Christmas but I either have to keep it or make another batch!


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