Pear, Vanilla & Cardamom Jam

Thursday 29 September 2016

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When the children were growing up I used to make up bottles and bottles of jams, jellies, pickles and conserves every year.  It was just a matter of course and something which I really loved to do and it all got used.  The end of August and months of  September/October my house was filled with the smells of a great harvest being put up for the winter months.  It was a glorious smell.  A Home Sweet Home kind of a smell.  Not to brag or anything but one year I did up 52 quarts of Dill Pickles and yes . . . .  every single pickle got eaten!

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There are only two of us in the house now and one of us is a diabetic and so I don't do much in the way of preserving or pickling any more.  Only the occasional thing that I want to try or that I feel we will use or which will make good gifts for giving.

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We have had a bumper crop of pears this year!  A really bumper year and they are not a fruit which stores well, and so they mostly have to be done up.  Pear sauce, frozen for pies and crumbles and today I decided to make a small batch of pear jam.

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But not just any kind of pear jam  . . .  Pear, Vanilla and Cardamom Jam!  Sweet and vanilla scented with a hint of  cardamom spice, which is a warm and comfy spice and which goes very well with pears.

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Just look at that beautiful amber jam and all of those lovely flecks of vanilla and cardamom.  I used conference pears which is what we have. They can be a bit harder than other pears, but they cooked down rather well.  I used a food chopper to chop them up.   I have one of those ones you punch up and down.  I did it right in the pot.  it worked fine.

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Pear Jam isn't something which you see done very often.  I don't think I have ever seen it in the shops.  This will be a real treat in the winter months to come and I have to say . . .  I did have a little taste and it is very, VERY delicious indeed!

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If you only make one kind of jam this autumn, let it be this.  You will not be sorry.  I guarantee!

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*Pear, Vanilla and Cardamom Jam*
Makes 3 1/2 pints
A delicious jam with lovely flavours. 

8 cups of  coarsely chopped pears, peeled
the juice of one lemon
2 vanilla beans
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
4 cups  granulated sugar (380g)
1 packet of pectin  

Combine the pears, sugar and lemon juice in a large pot with a heavy bottom.  Split the vanilla pods, scraping any seeds into the pears, and add the split pods to the pears along with the sugar.  Cook over medium heat until the pears are very soft and can be mashed with the back of a spoon.  Stir in the cardamom.  At this point you can remove the pods if you wish.  Add the pectin and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.   That is a boil that cannot be stirred down.  Boil for a full five minutes.   

Have your jars ready.  They should have been sterilized with boiling water or in the very hot cycle of the dish washer.  Sterilize the lids in a pan of boiling water.  Keep warm. 

Fill your jars with the jam and then wipe the rims clean of any residual jam with a clean cloth.  Apply the hot lids and then screw on the rims. 

Process the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove and place on  towel lined baking tray.  Let cool, undisturbed, for about two hours.  The lids should seal during this time. Th lids will pop down.  You should hear them doing this.  Check to ensure the jars have sealed by pushing down on the centre of the lids. If there is no give the jars have sealed.  Store in a dry cool dark place.

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Happy Fall Y'all!  Bon Appetit!



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