Spiced Vanilla Pear Jam

I made this at Christmas time, and completely forgot to post the recipe. I got the idea from a Serious Eats recipe, but I chickened out on their methodology.  I’ve had great luck canning with the little insert that comes with Pomona pectin, so I decided to stick with that for processing the fruit, but then be liberal with the vanilla bean and spices.  The result was great….next time I have a glut of pears, definitely need to make more of this!


  • 4 Cups cored, peeled and mashed fruit (about 6lb of pears – I used Bartlett)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons no-sugar pectin powder
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water (if using Pomona, which I recommend)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Peel and core fruit.  I mashed it with a food processor so it would gel a little bit easier, but if you like a courser jam, you could use a potato masher.  Place a small place in the freezer – use this to test jam consistency later.

Place the pears in a large saucepan and add the lemon juice.  Add the calcium water, and mix everything well.

In a separate bowl, mix pectin powder and sugar.  I found I needed a scant 1/4 cup, but if you like sweet jams, up to a 1/2 cup would be okay.

Bring the fruit to a boil.  Add pectin-sugar mixture and stir for 1-2 minutes to dissolve pectin.  Return to boil for about a minute and remove from heat.  Place a small amount of jam on the plate to test for consistency – if it needs to be thickened, add back to heat for a minute or so and repeat.

Using a funnel, fill jars and screw on 2-piece lids.  Place jars in a large stock pot and cover with water until it’s about an inch over the top of the jar.  Boil 10 minutes to seal, then remove from water.  Let cool and check for sealing – sealed jars should have their lids sucked down.

* You can also use honey or even splenda in place of the sugar.  I just happen to prefer sugar and using such a scant amount should keep things relatively healthy. 🙂


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