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.