September 11, 2010

Honey Pear Conserve & the evolution of a recipe

Ive been canning like crazy. I don't know why. I haven't done it in yrs. But I know there's lots of berries and stuff up here and I planned with the move here to take advantage of it all. And so I'm doing all sorts of things. I canned peaches the other day in a light syrup. The recipe I found it at tho had another for peach honey. You save the peels for that. Well I had to make pickles too and just didn't have time to make the peach honey. I almost tossed the peels then I thought....freeze them till I need it. Duh!

And then I had 5lbs of pears to process. Ive waited the last few days for them to get really ripe, they were like rocks when I bought them. And so I thought......well I could make pear honey! Then I thought maybe I should use honey instead of sugar. And so in my search to see if it could be done and if it was good... I found this recipe...

But I post all this to show you the evolution of a recipe. I just cant leave things alone. Guess that's why I'm a chef. And so now Ill post my version of that recipe.

So it went from peach honey to pear honey to honey pear preserves with ginger to finally Honey Pear Conserve.

Honey Pear Conserve Makes 16 half pts.

5lbs of pears
2 1/2c honey
1 lemon, finely chopped (whole lemon) (seeds removed)
2 in. piece of peeled ginger root
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 box Ball No Sugar Pectin
1/2c. lightly toasted pine nuts

Peel and core pears and chop into chunks. Sprinkle with Fruit Fresh or Vit. C and toss to keep from turning brown.  

Add honey to pears and mix. 

Chop nubby ends off lemon and toss. Chop whole lemon, finely and make sure all seeds are removed. Put in pear/honey mixture. Let sit overnight.

Next day put mixture in lg. pot and put in ginger. Cook 15-20min. I taste tested this as it went along. At the beginning it reminded me too much of Honey lemon cough drops. While I like that flavor .....not for my jam. yuck. I decided instead of adding the ginger to the jars to steep, I would cook it with the jam. This way I could control just how much ginger flavor I wanted. I suggest you do the same.

I found the flavors do blend and taste better and when it hits the level of ginger you like, remove the piece. Then add 1/4 tsp. vanilla or a bit more if you like. I found it took some of the bite out of the ginger.

Get water bath canner ready and wash jars. Put lids in a pan to boil and stay hot. I like to heat my oven to 200 degrees once the jars are hot and clean so they stay hot. Once the canner is ready, put pot of jam back on stove. Whisk in one box of the pectin and cook and stir till its beginning to thicken......then for 3min. more.  

 I can never leave things alone,,,this flavor reminded me of something Italian I had long ago so I thought why not pine nuts?  So I took some out raw and tasted it and they weren't bad but I thought toasted might be richer. So I put them in a fry pan and toasted lightly. Be careful not to do too much to them. I did taste a couple of nuts that got browner than I wanted and it over powered the delicate flavors. Toss them into the jam and stir. 

Fill jars and leave a half in. space. Wipe jar edges and put on lids and seal. Process in water bath for 10min. Remove and let cool, check seals. 


Amy @ Keep'n The SunnySide said...

Mmmm.. looks delish!

Fearless Nester said...

Wow! Talk about canning by the seat of your pants, that is so cool how you instinctively know what combinations would be good together! I so wish you had tomatoes, so I could see what you would come up with. Not that I had enough to can this year, but I just keep stuffing them into my face, they are so good! ~Lili