Bartlett pears were so perfect and plentiful during the Christmas week that I ended up buying way too many of them. Pears are best eaten fresh, of course, and I had my fill of fresh pears that week. Even so, I still ended up with a surplus of pears. What do you do with pears that are a day or two past their prime?
I thought about poaching them in red wine, but that would be a bad idea as, first of all, Bartlett is not a good poaching pear (Bosc is) and, secondly, the leftover pears I had were a little too ripe and the poaching would have just turned them into mush. So, instead, I decided to turn them into this delicious jam. As if I needed an excuse.
This jam is supposed to be on a soft and chunky side. It’s great on a buttered piece of bread or as a pastry filling.
Cinnamon Pear Jam
Makes about 6 half-pint jars
4 1/2 cups prepared (peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes) pears (from approximately 3 1/2 pounds of ripe Bartlett pears)
6 cinnamon sticks
5 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 (3-ounce) pouch liquid pectin
- In a large jam pot or a nonreactive saucepan, combine the pear cubes, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and lemon juice. (Prepare the pears just before cooking to prevent browning.)
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil.
- Continue to boil until the pear is soft, about 5 minutes longer.
- With a potato masher, mash some of the pear cubes so you end up with some chunks and some purée.
- Add the ground cinnamon; boil 3 minutes longer.
- Add the liquid pectin and bring back to a full boil; continue boiling for 2 more minutes.
- Take the jam off the heat and skim off the foam.
- Let the jam stand for 2 minutes to allow it to thicken up. This will ensure good suspension of the pear chunks; otherwise the chunks will float to the top.
- Fish out the cinnamon sticks and place one cinnamon stick in each jar. Spoon the jam into the jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
- Cool and refrigerate for 3 months or process in a water bath and store the jars at room temperature for up to 6 months.