Saturday, September 27, 2008

Winter Pear Jam with Honey

This past weekend found me foraging in the forest stealing pears away from the bears. Not to worry, the bears have had a good summer and for the most part have their tummies full and are getting a little sleepy with the imminent approach of winter.

Yes, I know, you probably didn't want to hear it. Winter is on its way. In fact, the past two days have seen the peaks of the mountains glistening with that white stuff.

But back to those well-fed bears, they are drawn by the sweet smell of ripening fruit, but then usually after one or two bites leave the fruit to rot on the ground. I was simply rescuing what was left before the bears spoil any more.

I got the fruit from the back yard of a friend who's property backs up against what was once one of many orchards in this region. This region at one time boasted some of the best fruit in the province and probably the country. The cherries here were particularly prized until the trees were hit with a blight that devastated the industry. But that is another story entirely.

In any case, this old overgrown orchard backs up against the mountain and the forest providing easy access not just to the bears, but also deer. There aren't many trees left and they are old, but the fruit is still fabulously sweet. With much of it turning quickly...pears don't last for long once they start to ripen, I made pear winter jam. It's actually more like a pear butter. The warmth of the ginger does one good in the winter. The concoction is actually really good completely raw, but of course would not last for long, so most of it got cooked up and sealed in jars.

Pear Jam
Ripe pears - 3 pounds, peeled and cored
Medium orange - 1 seeded
Medium lemon - 1 seeded
Crushed pineapple - 1 cup (canned in own juice)
Honey - 3/4 cup
Fresh ginger root - 1 inch, peeled and grated
Whole cloves - 6
Cinnamon sticks - 2, broken into 3 pieces
Salt - dash (optional)

Process fruit in food processor or blender. Place in a large pot, adding pineapple and juice. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until fruit is tender and mixture thick, stirring often. Skim and pour into hot, sterile pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch at top. Cap with hot, sterile lids. Process in boiling-water bath for 5 minutes after water returns to boil. If any jars fail to seal, refrigerate and use within ten days or freeze for later use.

20 comments:

JBelle said...

this sounds really, really good and really easy. You got me going with that mention of ginger in the winter. mmmm. mmmmm. You are an ambitious inspiration.

Envoy-ette said...

Oh I can just taste it! I bet you put on quite the show for the bears darting around picking up the fruit from the ground! If it had been me, I would have been a blur from the speed of fright!

Carla said...

JBelle, It's super easy, the best type of recipe and really quite tasty. I love the ginger when the weather starts turning cooler.

Envoyette, I think I better clarify...I was only picking up the fruit that the bears hadn't already chomped into. Some was on the ground and some still on the tree. No bears actually ventured down while I was out there.

Fuser said...

I wonder why bears have to spoil the fruit. Is it because they are tempted but not committed to their lunch?
Good night and good luck.

Isle Dance said...

Lucky you! And lucky wildlife!

Carla said...

Fuser, Bears are bears. They don't need a reason, they just do as they feel at the moment.

Isle Dance, Indeed. We're all lucky.

Mone said...

I just feel lucky getting my pears without meeting the bears ;)

Fuser said...

Which tells me they are very similar to humans then ...
:-)

BurdockBoy said...

Sounds great even if I'm not a big pear fan.

We have 40 lbs of apples to make into sauce and butter. So far we've made 8qt of sauce and an apple crisp.

We plan on getting another 40lbs of apples but pears are on the way, my tomatoes need canned, I have a few pint worth of cucumbers to pickle. We also found an alley of neglected grapes. Maybe I should do grape jam.

Anyhow I'm overwhelmed with preserving now. I think I should call in sick.

Carla said...

Mone, The wild bears don't really feel too comfortable if there are people around, so they usually stay clear of us. I would worry though if it had been a lean summer and they hadn't had so much to eat.

Fuser, There certainly are similarities.

Carla said...

Burdock Boy, Apples freeze well for pie and grapes freeze well too. You can use them as you do blueberries, yes, even in baking (or smoothies). It might save you some time. Or make raisins. I did that one year and they were awesome. And the applesauce is great added to raw fresh berries and either eaten like that or dried to make fruit leather. I always use applesauce as a base for my fruit leather.

VE said...

I have images of you battling bears for the pears...sort of like those ads where they go after salmon by battling the bears...

Steffi said...

Thank you very much for your recipe,Carla!That´s sounds really good and of course easy.I love easy recipes!

Carla said...

VE, Actually, I was having a food fight with them. A little wasteful, but all good fun.

Steffi, I like easy recipes too. They're the best kind.

Maggie said...

I miss those cold weather fruits. I can almost smell the apple's being cooked down for apple butter this time of year. My kids however would be all over your jarred delight as pears are their favorite and one of the few things I allow them to indulge in even though it is not local.

Annie Wicking said...

Wow, we've been collecting our wild food here too. But we're don't have to worry about the bears. lol

Best wishes, Carla ((Hug))

Annie

NYD said...

The picture of the pear is truly sumptuous.I never considered ginger in the mix. This tear I will have to add some to my batch.

Thanks for the tip!

Carla said...

Maggie, Pears have such a soft delicate flavour, don't they? The ginger adds a nice kick this time of year for when the cool weather begins.

Hi Annie, It's more like the bears having to worry about me. I was out picking blackberries today. Divine.

Carla said...

NYD, Ginger is a must have in the winter...warms the body and soul and keeps those colds at bay. And it's got bite. Gotta love sassy.

dawn said...

That looks delicious. I will have to remember that next time I get some pears.

I have some tomatoes this year and will get a few from my mom. I will do the same as last year and keep them green in the cool and have them ripen slowly. That way, I can process a small pot at a time so I can fit it in my busy schedule.