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Perfect Pear Jam

10 Reviews

4 half pints
This pear jam is simple and versatile - you can use different varieties of pears each time you make it. Some batches might be faintly floral, others more tart, depending on the pear varieties you use. The fine quality and great taste of USA Pears will shine through in every batch of this delightful homemade jam!
  • 3 pounds Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, or Anjou USA Pears, ripe and slightly under-ripe
  • 1 fresh lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 cups white sugar

If preferred, peel pears. Cut pears lengthwise into quarters and remove cores and stem ends. Chop pears into chunks, bigger for chunky jam, smaller for a smooth batch.

Combine pears, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir well to combine and cover. Let the mixture sit on the counter at least one hour, but preferably 8 hours, or overnight.

After letting the mixture sit, stir well, scraping any sugar that may have collected on the bottom of the bowl. Place pear mixture in a heavy-bottomed non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir the fruit gently while cooking to reduce foaming.

After about 10 minutes the fruit should be soft. Mash the pear chunks with a potato masher if you want smaller pieces, or mash completely for a smooth jam. Boil for 5-15 more minutes, stirring, until the jam either thickens to your liking or until it reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Once desired thickness has been achieved, remove the preserving pan from the heat and spoon mixture immediately into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace for canning, or 1 inch if you plan to freeze. Look for any bubbles and use a plastic knife to pop them.

At this point you can either cover jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months or in the freezer for up to 6 months, or you can process by following the next steps: Wipe rims of jars spotlessly clean and cover with sealing lids. Screw bands on finger-tight. Place jars on rack in boiling water bath canner, ensuring that tops of jars are completely submerged in hot water. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove jars from canner using jar-lifter tongs and gently set aside to cool on a kitchen towel in a draft-free place. Let rest for 24 hours, then check for a proper seal before storing.

yield: Makes about 4 half pints

  • Serving Size: 1 TBSP
  • Calories: 120
  • Carbohydrate: 31g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 0g

14 Comments » for Perfect Pear Jam
  1. says:

    Pears have very little pectin. Typically you have to add pectin. For 3 lbs of pears I’d add 6% of the weight of the pears in lemon juice. I’d take the lemons you used for the juice, chop it up and put it in a food grade muslin bag along with the seeds. Let it soak overnight with the pears and sugar. Let it boil about 5 minutes with the pears then pull the pectin bag out of the preserves and let it cool while it’s cooking, pull the jam of the burner. Once you can touch the bag, squeeze and twist it over the pot until the pectin comes out. It will feel slimy and be translucent to opaque. Put the preserves back on the pot and cook to gel point. I like to use the wrinkle test. The lemon should give you enough pectin to give you a gel. I’d also run half the pears through a food mill or mash with a potato masher to give you a thicker consistency. This should be done once the pears have cooked a few minutes to soften them. You could also try a few teaspoons of Ball granulated pectin. It must be mixed with some of the sugar and I add some of the hot liquid to it to so I am sure it dissolves. Score I put it in the pot.

  2. Steve says:

    Anyone not peel the pears? Curious how that turned out

  3. Becky Kiersky says:

    I boiled my mixture up to 220 degrees, water processed for 15 minutes, but it didn’t thicken. Any suggestions? It is now a wonderful pear syrup, but I really would like pear jam as well.

  4. Anitta Nienaber says:

    Love this

  5. Janissa says:

    Love, love, love this recipe! Very simple and easy to make. I have made pear jam before, but I had never let them sit. I tell you….this is what gives it the best flavor. I had let them sit about 10 hours and it was perfect! Thank you for the recipe!

  6. Darlene Starr says:

    I have never had pear jam nor made it, and I didn’t know what to expect. This is outstanding tasting gem! Very very easy to make! I followed the directions without any cinnamon or anything extra, leaving the pears overnight and it turned out better than I ever thought.

  7. USA Pears says:

    yes definitely!

  8. Elma says:

    Recipe sound like it could be really good. Is it possible to use bourbon instead of the whiskey you chose?

  9. Stacey Ness says:

    This is an amazing and simple recipe. We made a plain batch, a batch with a tablespoon of cinnamon, and a batch with Fireball whiskey and they all turned out great. The neighbors are already asking about getting on the list for delivery next year! We used Summercrisp pears and they were delicious.

  10. Kathy Stephenson says:

    It probably will not taste as good but it will most likely work.

  11. Vicky says:

    Can you use canned pears,we do not have fresh pears in nh only store bought

  12. Tshepo Mkhwanazi says:

    Amazing jam i added one star-anise and Clove

  13. Anastasia says:

    Quick question, what does leaving them overnight do? What would happen if I boiled the pears directly after chopping them up?

  14. Angela says:

    Great recipe. I added a tbsp of cinnamon also.

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