This lovely pale yellow pear jam is full of the delicate taste of the harvest. Pear and pineapple are a lovely combination and the lime and vanilla make this jam extra special. If you are looking for a special way to enjoy pears, this is the recipe for you.
It is an easy recipe that doesn’t use any pectin which makes it simple to make. Drained crushed pineapple gives the jam extra body.
What Varieties of Pears are Best for Pear Jam
Just like apples, different varieties of pears are better for cooking versus plain eating. Many pears simply fall apart when they are cooked, so to get the best texture, I like to combine varieties to get both flavor and texture when cooking.
The most common pear varieties available in the produce department are Barlett, Anjou (both red and green), Bosc, Comice, and Asian Pears.
Very juicy and classic cooking pear. You can find both red and green varieties, but since you peel the pears for cooking (cooked skins aren’t a good texture) it doesn’t matter the color. These pears break down completely when cooked.
A mild pear that has a firmer texture and is commonly sold in grocery stores. Some of the first varieties of pear to appear. Available in both red and green.
A crisp, sweet pear variety that is the classic pear flavor profile.
Not as grainy as other varieties, but very juicy and my favorite for eating raw.
Crunchy and shaped like an apple rather than a pear. The taste is mild and the texture is slightly grainy. Great to use sliced in salads.
For this pear jam, I mix Barlett’s and Bosc pears to get the benefits of both varieties.
Remember that pears, like apples, will oxidize and the exposed flesh will turn brown when cut. You can counteract the effect by slicing the pears into a bowl of water mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice to stop them from turning brown.
Choosing Ripe Pears
There is a simple test for choosing good pears, lightly press your finger where the pear and stem meet. If there is a slight give the pear is ripe, if there are any soft spots anywhere else on the fruit, give it a pass since the flesh will be mealy. Asian pears are usually sold in netting since they bruise easily even when they feel rock hard and underripe.
Testing Jam Thickness
Here are two easy ways to test for jam thickness.
Place a plate in the freezer for 20 minutes. Once you think the jam is thickened, spoon a tablespoon of the jam on the cold plate and let it sit for 3o seconds. Push the jam with the spoon or your finger and see if it wrinkles. If it does, the pear jam has been properly set, if not continue cooking the jam and test it again after five minutes.
You can use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of your jam. Once the pear jam has reached a rolling boil, check the temperature—the jam sets at 220°F. While this method seems like the most exact method, I find better success with the saucer test above.
Remember, that since this jam doesn’t use pectin to thicken the mixture, it will naturally be a looser (runnier) jam.Print
A lovely pale yellow pear jam that is full of the delicate taste of the harvest. Pear and pineapple are a lovely combination and the lime and vanilla make this jam extra special.
- 3 pounds pears, (9 cups roughly chopped fruit)
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons lime zest (from 1 lime)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
- Peel and core the pears, roughly slice.
- In a food processor, pulse several times so the pear is a small dice.
- Drain the crushed pineapple well.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the pears, drained pineapple, sugar, vanilla, and lime juice, and stir to combine.
- Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently until the jam thickens.
- Use the saucer test or a thermometer to check for thickness. Remember the jam will thicken as it cools, because this jam relies on the natural pectin in the fruit it is a looser jam.
- Pour into sterilized half-pint jars and process for 10 minutes (or according to your altitude). See the Canned Apple Pie Filling post for more detailed instructions for canning.
- Store in the pantry for up to 2 years or if you don’t want to process the jam you can store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
This recipe makes about 10 half-pint jars of jam.
If you need more information about canning, there are lots of wonderful tutorials on the web.