Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pear & Cardamom Jam Recipe

Photography: Joanna Wickham

Preserves and I have a love/hate relationship. I love them when it goes right, hate them when it goes wrong! Earlier this year I made preserves for favors at a wedding and, after 90 jars I am at it again. At the wedding, there were several different types so guests could choose and swap between different flavours such as: Pink Peppercorn and Rosemary Jelly, Rhubarb and Ginger Jam, Tamarillo Chutney and, Orange Cointreau Marmalade to name a few. But my absolute favorite was the last minute idea to combine two of my recent obsessions, pear and cardamom, into Pear and Cardamon Jam.

For this recipe, good quality pectin is a must as the pears and lemon juice do not seem to have enough pectin alone. Nor will jam setting sugar or supermarket pectin work from my experience at least. Don't be put off however! As this is the easiest, quickest, and tastiest jam I have ever made.

For the wedding favors we brought 198ml jars from Arthur Holmes Ltd as we wanted to give the guests a generous serving to take home and share over the the following days and weeks.

Pear and Cardamom Jam

  • 7 1/2 cups chopped peeled pears (any variety will work but the pears should still be a little firm, I use Winter Nelis)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 7 1/2 tsp good quality pectin- I used Ball & Kerr Classic Pectin (approx. 67gm)
  • 8 1/3 cups sugar
  • 15gm whole cardamom pods

Bash cardamom pods in a Mortar & Pestle and then put into clean pantyhose leg. Then with the pantyhose, tie a knot above the cardamom and tie the end of it to the handle of a heavy based pot so that the cardamom is sitting on the bottom of the pot. Add the pear and lemon and stir through the pectin. Bring to a rapid* boil then add the sugar and stir until combined. Once boiling again (rapidly*), stir for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Pour into jars and tightly screw on the lids immediately.

NB: A rapid boil is when you stir the mixture and the bubbling does not slow down or disappear. At this stage be VERY careful as it may splatter onto your skin, I wrap a tea towel around my arm & hand as I stir with a long wooden spoon.

Makes approx. 2.7 litres