Pear and Vanilla Jam

The other preserving I did with my mothers pears was a lovely pear and vanilla jam. I was a bit dubious about this at first, but having tried it the other day, it is gorgeous.

As an aside to this, I am really impressed with my phone. I take pics with it, then upload them directly to a Picasa album. When i view the pics in Picasa, online, at the right hand side is a little google map, showing me where the pic was taken. I’m impressed that when I upload a pic, it uploads that info as well!

Pear and Vanilla jam

1kg pears, peeled cored and cut into chunky slices

juice of 2 lemons

750g sugar

1 vanilla pod

Put the pears in the jam pan, with the lemon juice, sugar and 200ml water.

Slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways and add to the pan.

Leave all this overnight.

The following day, stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil rapidly until the pears are translucent, and it reaches setting point.

Remove the vanilla pod, leave to settle for 10 mins, the pour into sterilised jars.

I used half normal sugar and half preserving sugar.

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

pickled pears

On a recent trip down to my mothers, she gave us a carrier bag full of pears. I had intended to make pear chutney with them, but a free leaflet I had gave a couple of fab looking recipes, one for pickled pears, and one for pear and vanilla jam.

the leaflet came with the November 2009n issue of cook veg magazine.

The jam is delicious – a pale toffee colour, with flecks of vanilla beans through it.

the pickled pears are even better. The syrup is ever so slightly spicy, with overtones of the star anise, and allspice.

pickled pears

The recipe:

500ml cider vinegar

600g sugar

juice and rind from 1 lemon. I used a peeler to peel the lemon, and thinly slice the rind

5 whole allspice berries

2 star anise

2 dried red chillies

6 black peppercorns

1.5kg pears.

pop everything except the pears into a jam pan, over a low heat to dissolve the sugar

peel, core and quater the pears and add them to the pan, to poach in the syup.

simmer gently for about 30 mins or until the pears are softened  and tender. lift the pears out with a slotted spoon and pop into sterilised jars.

boil the syrup until it has reduced by half, then pour over the pears. Seal and leave to cool.

the recipe suggests using the pears with cold meat and cheese, and the leftover syrup as a dressing for a goats cheese salad!

pics to be added asap….

Published in: on October 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

In a bit of a pickle

Well, chutney actually, but ‘In a bit of a chutney‘ doesn’t have the same ring to it!

Autumn means one thing in the house of Sutherland – it means it’s time to make chutney and preserves from the last of the free/cheap glut of fruit and veg from summer.

This year I finally got my hands on the Oded Schwartz book ‘Preserving’ that I had been after for yonks. If you can get a copy, do. It is positively the best preserving book ever. Unfortunately it is out of print now, and the copies that are around can change hands for silly money. It is worth checking both ebay and amazon for a cheaper copy.

Oded Schwartz - Preserving

Armed with my copy of the hallowed book, I checked out what i had – Onions, apples, tomatoes, more apples. I decided on apple chutney, tomato chutney, and followed Oded’s recipes for both. I’m told the resultant chutney are lovely. I’ve never tried chutney before, but find the vinegar smell from chutney overpowering, no matter how mild it actually is, and as I’m a wimp with new food, I’ve never dared try it. So I gave all the chutney away as part of my Christmas hampers. It looked good though, and at least two of my sister in law have told me they love it, so that’s good enough for me!


With the onions and more of the apples I made Onion marmalade – also from Oded Shwartz. My brothers wife is addicted to this stuff, and, I think, would happily swim in a vat of it.¬† Needless to say a jar of Onion marmalade doesn’t last long in her house – she once spent an entire day finding new things to eat it with. This is another recipe from the Oded Schwartz book but it is readily available online… here (you have to scroll down a bit) It’s easy to make but time consuming.

Onion Marmalade

With the apples I made aoms apple chilli jelly – also from Oded. This was a real surprise. I tentatively tasted a little and immediatly got the sweet, refreshing apple, follwed a couple of seconds later by a big wallop of chilli. I love it with cheese, as you get the apple, the chilli, and then the cheese takes the heat of the chilli away – it truly makes for blissful eating…

Apple-chilli jelly

all in all a successful useage of fruit and veg!

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment