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Today, I decided to make some jam.  I have no business making jam.  None at all.  There’s a long list of stuff to complete and Becks was home all day.  No.  Business.  Making.  Jam.    Not only was I making jam, but I canned it.  Which requires extra steps and more space (i.e. I had to clean to can).  But I really wanted to make jam.  Figured it’d be a nice gift for our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.  Plus I did find the sweet itty-bitty 4 ounce jars this past weekend…  So I jammed.

I’ve been flipping through Jam On and decided to try out the spicy pear jam.  I’m fresh out of chiptole powder and in order to save money for other important things, I substituted.  I was able to try just a little when it fell off the spoon, nice and subtle heat.  I thought it would be delicious on some biscuits.  So delicious that I almost ran out for some cream, but I got to the laundry, digging out serving platters, work, playing with the kid, blah, blah, blah…

I Should Be Cleaning Spicy Pear Jam

adapted from “Jam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit”

2 lbs. of Bartlett Pears (peeled, cored, and diced)

1/2 C water

2 T. lemon juice

2 C. sugar

2 t. Vietnamese cinnamon

1 3/4 t. ancho chile powder

1/4 t. smoked paprika

3 t. calcium water

2 t. pectin  (find both calcium and pectin here)

Put a spoon in the freezer.

Put pears, water, lemon juice, and calcium water into a 6-8 quart nonreactive pot.  Stir well.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pears appear translucent.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.  When ready, throw in the 3 spices.  Stir.

Mash the fruit with a potato masher until most are broken apart, but don’t make it super smooth.  Return to boil and remember to keep an eye on them.  I had to add a little bit of water.

Mix sugar and the pectin with a fork.  And then mix it into the fruit mash.  Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and skim any foam off the top.

Take the spoon out the freezer and dip into the fruit.  Take a teaspoon amount out and let cool for 30 seconds.  If it gels, you’re good.  If not, at 1/2 t more of pectin and 1/4 c of sugar.  Bring to a boil again for 1 minute.  Repeat spoon test.

Pour into prepared jars.  Fill with 1/4 inch head space.  Process for 6 minutes.

Makes about five 8 ounce jars.  Or 10 sweet itty-bity 4 ounce jars.

Please research proper canning techniques before trying out this recipe.  Or skip the canning and place into clean glass jars and give to friends and family.

Day 20: I pushed everything aside and jammed.