Stone fruits are my first love and I have them in abundance during the season but the pip fruits, pears, apples are a different story all together. There are many varieties of pears that have hit the market this season including the sweet nashpaati, crisp nakq and gritty, sweet and juicy babugosha. i’m absolutely enjoying myself biting into the fresh ripe fleshy fruits but sometimes a few of them turn out a little bland in taste and that is when the exotic ideas of caramelized pears, stews, poached pears in red wine, jams, jellies, tarts, upside down cakes or a humble Indian spiced chutney come to mind. Do check out my other recipes for jams and jellies.
Pears are rich in dietary fibers among other things. The star of this recipe are the intense flavors of spices and the tang from lemon. As the pears were not very sweet this one has a mild sweetness of the fruit but those with robust flavors are mind blowing when used in preserves. I usually pick up the juiciest and sweetest lot.
The cinnamon and clove give it a classic flavor and the sugar gives it the desired thickness. I guess this is the time to bring Autumn into your kitchen. 🙂
Pear an Peach jams do not set like other jams if there is no additional pectin. They require a little bit more cooking time to get the right consistency.
2 Cups – Chopped, peeled Pears
4 Cups – Sugar ( depends on the sweetness of the fruit)
4-5 – Cloves / 1/2 tsp of freshly ground clove powder
1/4 inch Cinnamon stick / 1/2 tsp Freshly ground Cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Add all the ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan and boil them on low heat for an hour or so or until thick. As the mixture begins to thicken you will need to stir more frequently. Once the bubbles begin to appear stop stirring and let the foam come up. Turn the gas off and skim off any foam that may have come on the top. Put it back on stove on low heat.
Once the jam thickens to the desired consistency and the mixture looks glossy and shiny turn off the gas. If the jam coats the back of the spoon and the bottom of the pan it is done. The color will darken too. Conduct a spoon or sheet test – take some jam in a frozen spoon or chilled steel plate and slightly tilt it , if the jam stays at one place it is done. If it flows then you need to cook a bit more. Always cook jams on low heat.
You may keep the jam a bit chunky or mash the fruit with a masher while it is cooking to get a smoother jam.
You can add a 1″ piece of grated ginger if you like the taste. I do it sometime. It perks up the taste of the jam.
Let the jam come to room temperature then spoon it in clean glass jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space while filling the bottles.
Slather this golden sweetness lavishly on the bread and enjoy wit ha hot mug of coffee.
Tip – Add a little red wine to the jam if you don’t mind things getting a little tipsy. 🙂