Pear & Saffron Jam

Monday 4 September 2017

When my children were growing up I used to make oodles of jams and preserves every year.  In June I would be making strawberry jam and in August it would be blueberry.  September would bring blackberry and raspberry jams and jellies, apple butter, apple jelly, peach jam, and one of my absolute favourites pear jam.  I do love pears!  They are one of my favourite fruits, and happily they are Todd's favourite fruit also!

Because there are only two of us however, I never make my own jam. It make so much and we are so few. It would never get eaten and just always has seemed highly impractical. We have fruit trees . . .  one plum, one pear and one apple.  We have a bumper crop of pears this year . . .  conference pears . . .  and so I am trying to pick them a few at a time and preserve them as I am picking them.  To that end I discovered a recipe for Pear & Saffron Jam on a site called Rubarb & Rose.

The addition of Saffron greatly intrigued me  . . .  and it made only one large jar so just the right size for us.  I also had everything I needed in the house to make it, plus some lovely ripe pears, fresh off the tree.

It turned out beautifully.  I love the clour and the flavour is mmm . . .  mmm . . . mmm.  I love that it didn't make tons of jam and knowing that we will probably use all of it. That's a real plus!

*Pear & Saffron Jam*
Makes one 370g jar 
(13 ounces)

This is a really pretty coloured jam.  Easy to do and doesn't make a ton. 

1 KG pears (4 - 5) peeled, quartered and roughly diced
200g jam sugar (Jam sugar is sugar which has pectin added, (1 cup + 2 tsp)
100g granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 1 tsp)
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of saffron strands 

Place the pears, both sugars, lemon juice and saffron strands into a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Allow to sit and macerate for about an hour or so.  This helps to draw any juices out of the pears and really brings out their flavour.  

Place a small plate in the freezer. 

At the end of an hour bring the pear mixture to a rolling boil, then reduce to a gentle boil.  Cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring it every now and again to make sure it doesn't catch.  At the end of that time, use a potato masher to mash up the fruit coarsely. You want some larger bits and some smaller bits. 

Take the plate from the freezer.  Place a small bit of jam onto it.  Wait a minute.  At the end of that time the jam should wrinkle when touched.  If it doesn't then continue to cook your jam for a further 10 minutes and then test again.

Once the jam has jelled, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla paste.  Allow the jam to settle for 5 minutes and then transfer to a clean,dry jar.  Seal the jar and allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.  This is delicious!


Jams use mashed up fruit, while preserves use whole or large pieces of fruit. Both of them, however, are easier and more economical to make than jelly, since they are made of entire fruits instead of just the juice, and can be good either thick or runny. Both are also delectable when homemade! Here are some basic tips that you can follow to make your own jams and preserves.

-Wash and remove the stems or cores, if any. Peel if necessary; cherries and berries do not require peeling; fruit like pears and peaches do. Remember: for jams, cut up or mash the fruit; for preserves, use whole fruits or cut them into large chunks.

- Make jam or preserves in small batches. This way, the fruit will cook quickly and the color and flavor will be better preserved.

-For every cup of fruit you use, add 145g (¾ cup) of sugar. For example, four cups of fruit makes a very manageable batch, so you would need 575g (3 cups) of sugar per batch—unless otherwise specified by the recipe.

-If you are using ripe or particularly sweet fruit, add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. The acid from the lemon juice will help the jam or preserve thicken.

- Scorching is more likely to happen to jams and preserves, so in order to avoid that dilemma, stir your mixture often for 15-40 minutes, depending on the fruit. Scorching can ruin an otherwise delicious jam or preserve, but is very easy to prevent.

-To test your jam or preserve to see if it’s done, take a spoonful out of your kettle, and drop it onto a chilled plate.  If it holds its shape after about a minute, your jam or preserve is ready to jar.

I am not sure if they have jam sugar in North America or not.  I suppose you could use regular sugar and some bottled or powdered pectin, or you could just use regular sugar and follow the hints and tips above.  This week I plan on making pear chutney!  Watch this space and Bon Appetit!


  1. I ahve never seen jam sugar here.. I have seen soo many kinds but this one..? I love small batch too except strawbery and blueberry..because it does get eaten here..and my son-in-law loves it:)
    Pretty pics Marie:)

    1. Jam sugar is like regular granulated sugar Monique, except it has pectin already added. I miss wild blueberry jam! Xo

  2. Canning is something I want to start doing. I have helped my parents a few times, but have never done it alone.
    I've seen that some companies have put out an electric one that u can use by the sink. Then when ur done it has a spigot to take out the water. No lugging it from stove to sink and worrying about hurting ur back.
    Big Hugs!

    1. I always really enjoyed it and my family really enjoyed the fruits of my labors Jan. There is something very mother-earth about opening a homemade jar of pickles or jam in the depth of winter and knowing you put it together! xo

  3. I am new to saffron. I have only used it once in some rolls, but I didn't notice any flavor. It did yellow the rolls.

    I am wondering if a pinch is around 1/4 teaspoon? I ask because I get the saffron with about 4 shreds in a vial for about $20. I don't mind the cost if I get the flavor correct, and this recipe looks oh so yummy.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    1. Yes that would be about right 1/4 teaspoon. Its an incredibly expensive ingredient for sure. It has a subtly earthy & grassy flavor & aroma, yet sweet, similar to floral & honey. it is also responsible for that beautiful color in this jam. I hope you like it and find the expense worth it! xo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!