Pears, like quinces, turn red with long cooking. You’ll witness the color change with this pear preserves recipe, which is wonderful over vanilla ice cream.
Recipe from The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves © 2013 by Linda Ziedrich and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.
Image: Peter Muka
- 4 pounds just-ripe pears
- 1⁄4 cup minced peeled ginger (the fresher the better) or minced crystallized ginger, store-bought or homemade
- Grated or minced zest of 3 lemons
- 6 cups sugar
- 1⁄4 cup strained lemon juice
- Peel and core the pears and cut them into quarters if they are small or into eighths if they are large. As you work, layer the pear slices in a kettle with the ginger, lemon zest, and sugar; this will keep the pears from browning. Pour the lemon juice over all and let the kettle stand at room temperature, covered, for 6 to 12 hours, until most of the sugar has dissolved.
- Set the kettle over low heat and slowly bring the contents to a simmer. Keep them at a bare simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, until the pears are partially translucent and pink.
- Remove the kettle from the heat and let the preserves cool for 5 minutes. Then ladle them into pint mason jars, add lids and rings, and process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.