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Friday, March 16, 2012

Pear Jam with Honey & Vanilla

Aldi had these 2lb bags of pears for $1 each, so I bought FOUR bags because I'm crazy. Also, you can make fun of me for shopping at Aldi, but then you can also kiss my ass for being a giant jerk face.  That said, I'm obsessed with canning, which is pretty funny because I think it's the new hipster, "homesteading", band wagon home craft. I'm an insufferable hipster wannabe, so of course, I love canning, and I'm tired of buying jams and jellies that are either cheap and filled with a zillion ingredients, or cost $4 for one tiny 8 oz jar because it's so ~pure and natural~. My little girl and I eat a lot of jam, I want to know what my little girl is eating. I also love jam because it's the whole fruit, minus the skins usually, so you're still getting all the good stuff from the fruit like fiber and nutrients!

My husband ate an entire bag of pears and left me with 3 lbs, so I made jam with what was left.

3 lbs of pears
1/2 cup water
1 cup honey
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp Ball Low Sugar Pectin
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract, or a couple vanilla beans scraped.

Peel, core, and chop up ripe pears. I just quartered mine because I'm lazy and have an immersion blender. Combine pears and water in a large pot and cook until soft, then mash or use an immersion blender to get a chunky puree. (At this point, I ladled all of my fruit out into a huge measuring cup so that I could get exact amounts needed for pectin and lemon juice. I ended up with just barely 9 cups of pear puree, and with lemon juice added, that would be 9 cups of liquid even, which is how I ended up with my pectin amount. I just followed the directions on the label of the pectin jar.) Add lemon juice, and gently stir in pectin, a little bit at at time and stirring constantly. You want to avoid any lumps. Bring to a rapid boil on high heat that cannot be stirred down, then add honey and vanilla. Bring back to a rapid boil, let boil for about 1 min, then remove from heat. Pack into sterile, hot jars, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let jars sit for 12-24 hours after processing, I lay a towel out on my counter and leave them there overnight.

This recipe is heavily based on the directions on the Ball Low Sugar pectin label, so it should be safe afaik. The only changes I made were adding vanilla.