Pears

Lower-sugar, fruit-forward spreads easily last a couple of weeks in the fridge once open. Get pear recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with many ways to preserve pears. They don’t keep as well in dry storage as apples, and I rarely used them when frozen, so they don’t yet have a home on my quick-save list. Dehydrating works well if you want them for backpacking or snacks. My mom always canned them in syrup when I was growing up, and when I have a bumper crop I’ll put up a few jars in brandy syrup or lightly sweetened pickle brine.

Mostly I save pears as preserves. The first time I made marmalade with ginger and pears, I followed a Ball recipe that used 1 part sugar to 2 parts fruit and found it to be overly sweet. I’ve since discovered that because the natural acidity of pears makes them safely shelf stable, the sugar primarily keeps the jam from molding once it’s open and sitting in the fridge. By melding Ball’s recipe with other lower-sugar versions, I came up with a fruit-forward marmalade that easily lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge once open, as well as a jam that pairs pears with tart cranberries.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 3 main ingredients plus some sugar and a cinnamon stick.
1. Prep the fruit and ginger.
2. Mix everything together and let it sit an hour or more.
3. Heat and jar the mixture.

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Pear–Ginger Marmalade

  • Servings: 7 half-pint jars
  • Difficulty: 2
  • Print
2 limes
3 pounds pears (about 7 cups when cored and diced)
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger
1 cinnamon stick
1-1/2 cups sugar

Zest the limes into a wide 6- to 8-quart pot. Cut the limes in half lengthwise and squeeze the juice into a small glass measuring cup; you should have about 1/4 cup. Set the spent lime halves aside in a sealed container in the fridge.

Core and dice the pears; add them to the pan, pouring in a little lime juice as you work to keep the pears from getting overly brown. Mince the crystallized ginger, and then add it to the pears, along with the cinnamon stick, sugar, and remaining lime juice. Toss the mixture to combine, cover, and let macerate at room temperature for at least an hour or in the refrigerator overnight.

Tie the spent lime halves into a piece of cheesecloth or butter muslin and add it to the pear mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 15–20 minutes, until you can crush the pears with the back of a spoon. Skim off any foam, and remove the cheesecloth bag with the pulp and pith, as well as the cinnamon stick.

Ladle into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, plus your altitude adjustment. Alternatively, cool and then freeze in 8-ounce containers. Makes about 7 half-pint jars.

Tips & Tricks
  • I leave the peels on pears when making marmalade and jam (see below); they mostly dissolve as spreads cook down, leaving them slightly chunky. If your pears are particularly thick skinned or you prefer a smoother marmalade, you can peel the pears.
  • Cutting citrus lengthwise instead of crosswise releases more juice. If your limes are too hard to juice, you can still zest them and replace the fresh-squeezed juice with 1/4 cup bottled lime juice.
  • I prefer the lime flavor in this recipe, but lemons or an orange can also be substituted. Citrus fruit that is at room temperature or slightly warm is easier to squeeze than pieces you might be storing in the fridge.
  • Fresh ginger can be substituted for crystallized, but be sure to dice it into tiny cubes to ensure the flavor isn’t too sharp.


Lower-sugar, fruit-forward spreads easily last a couple of weeks in the fridge once open. Get pear recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.

Twice as Tasty

Lower-sugar, fruit-forward spreads easily last a couple of weeks in the fridge once open. Get pear recipes at TwiceasTasty.com. Pears don’t give up a lot of liquid while they macerate, so I don’t recommend trying to process the solids and juice separately like you would with some other Twice as Tasty combinations. I do recommend doubling your pear harvest and making Pear–Ginger Marmalade and the next recipe in tandem. By dividing your pear harvest between the two recipes, you can rotate through the flavors throughout the winter.

Marmalade tastes sweeter than the cranberry-influenced jam, even though both have the same ratio of sugar to fruit. I often open both jars at once for a party, serving them with Sourdough Cabin Bread and homemade or store-bought cheeses.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 2 main ingredients plus a couple of kitchen staples.
1. Prep the fruit.
2. Mix everything together and let it sit an hour or more.
3. Heat and puree the mixture.
4. Process the jam in a boiling water bath.

InstagramMake it, share it. Tag your photos: @twiceastastyblog and #twiceastastyblog

Pear–Cranberry Jam

  • Servings: 7 half-pint jars
  • Difficulty: 2
  • Print
2-1/2 pounds pears (about 6 cups when cored and coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
1-1/2 cups sugar

Core and coarsely chop the pears, adding them to a wide 6- to 8-quart pot and tossing them with the lemon juice as you work to keep the pears from getting overly brown. Coarsely chop the cranberries; add them and the cinnamon stick to the pan, and then toss the fruit with the sugar. Cover and let macerate at room temperature for at least an hour or in the refrigerator overnight.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, until you can burst the cranberries with the back of a spoon; skim off any foam as it forms. Remove the jam from the heat, pull out the cinnamon stick, and puree the jam using an immersion blender, making it smooth or leaving a few chunks of pear and cranberry if desired. Return to the heat and boil 5 minutes longer.

Ladle into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, plus your altitude adjustment. Alternatively, cool and then freeze in 8-ounce containers. Makes about 7 half-pint jars.

Tips & Tricks
  • I leave the pear skins in this recipe just like I do for Pear–Ginger Marmalade. You can peel and then crush the pears if your pears are particularly thick skinned or you prefer a smoother jam.
  • You can use fresh lemon juice here if desired and even add the zest. The pulp and pith of citrus fruit contains a lot of pectin, but so do cranberries. Adding both would give you an ultrastiff spread.
  • I always buy extra bags of fresh cranberries when they’re on sale during the winter holidays and freeze them for future use. I’ve seen recipes that combine dried cranberries and pears in jams and conserves, but you may have difficulties getting this recipe to set if you substitute dried berries for fresh. If you can only find dried cranberries, reach for a box of Pomona’s Pectin to ensure a jammy consistency.


Want to play with more variations? Twice as Tasty is teaching these techniques in a workshop held in your own kitchen, among friends—and with my personal help. Click here to learn more.

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