pears with heli

October 10, 2009

A few weeks ago Emily, Clint and I went to Clint’s pear tree (planted back in 1987 or so) south of town and harvested a bucket of then “slightly” unripe pears. We made some yummy pies, and the rest of the pears sat in my kitchen in the bucket, with me nibbling occasionally.


When I was talking with Heli about visiting her, I asked if she wanted me to bring the pears up for us to can. She did, so I tossed the whole collection in the back seat of the car (along with the chestnuts, and a whole bunch of last minute herbs from the garden). Today we collected the supplies for pear preserves with ginger and lemon, from The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and other Sweet Preserves, by Linda Zeidrich.


The recipe includes a generous amount of lemon zest and minced ginger, and sits out on the counter for quite a few hours. The kitchen smells lovely! A delicate mixture of pears, ginger and lemon.


I can’t remember where I learned this, but it is a nifty trick for peeling ginger. When you are peeling fresh ginger, use the back side of a butter knife (I think that there might be a tool for this as well) to scrape the peel off. This is the easiest way to peel ginger without taking off too much of the root.


For mincing the ginger, Heli, trained in the Deli, had a little tip. Chop the ginger (or anything that you might be chopping) with your hand over the middle part of the knife finger tips up. This protects them as you chop quickly (as she is demonstrating!)

pearssugarspices2As we peeled the pears we layered them with the sugar, ginger, and lemon (as per recipe). We had fun here, with the pot in the kitchen between us, chopping and layering. Heli had a clear plan that we needed to layer 4 sliced pears and then add the sugar, etc. I accidently started adding the spices early and was clearly instructed that we hadn’t added enough pears yet…love to be back with the sister!!!



After sitting overnight, the sugar dissolved, and the pears were ready to slowly cook for several hours. We were in the kitchen, stirring the pears every so often, while we made Monte Bianco. As the pears cooked, they turned a beautiful burnt orange color. I am a little concerned though as we ended up with a lot of liquid, and not too many pears floating in it… I think that if I were to do it again I would maybe change the sugar to fruit ratio, which seemed high on the sugar side. The recipe did suggest using the pears over ice cream, which I think would be good! Or maybe with fresh cream!!


Finished pears, cooling on the window sill. Soon to be whisked off to a cool, dark cupboard for better storage.

2 Responses to “pears with heli”

  1. emily Says:

    I appreciate the tips on Ginger peeling,you know how bad I am with knives.

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