It is great to grow your own. Though not all of us have a pear tree in the back garden. But this doesn’t mean we don’t also get to share in the bounty of this season. You can get pears for nearly nothing in shops this time of year. I grabbed a few bags from Tesco & made something which paired with custard that has my family drooling on a Sunday afternoon.

Poached pears! And these are ever so gently spiced to make them extra special.

This batch will most likely not even make it onto my pantry shelves. My family gobble these up in no time at all. So, I recommend you make extra and hide it to surprise your family with later. Eat them straight, on porridge, bake them in pies instead of apples. These are gooood!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2.5kg pears – any variety
  • 1.5 litre water
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick

What else you need

  • Sterilised jars with lids
  • Large bowl filled with water and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. This will prevent pears from browning while you work.
  • If you plan on storing these on your pantry shelves longer term, you will need to boil them for an additional at least 10 minutes in a warm water bath.

 

What you do

  • Quarter, peel and core pears and place in bowl with lemon water.
  • Pour water, sugar and spices into a large pot and bring to the boil. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Carefully place pears in this hot sugar water. Bring to the boil again for 5 minutes.
  • Place pear pieces into prepared jars.
  • Pour excess liquid into jars. Leave an inch to the top of the rim.
  • Wipe rim clean and place lid tightly.

These are now ready to eat, and you can store them in the fridge. If you want to store them in your pantry, now is the time to prepare your hot water bath.

 

How to do a Hot Water Bath

You can get specialised pots for doing a hot water bath. But I found that my method though not as pretty, is just as effective. Without having to spend extra money on extra fancy pots.

  • Place two tea towels in the bottom of a large stock pot with a deep base.
  • Place your jars tightly into the pot on top of the tea towels and fill the pot with hot water until it covers the lids of the jars.
  • Place pot on stove and bring to the boil.
  • Once it starts boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes. When bell rings, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool down in a safe out of reach spot.
  • Remove jars from water, dry and label.

Remember to add the date. It’s good to keep track of when things were added into your pantry. If the lid blows up or dents after storage, this is a sign that it’s not safe to eat anymore.

 

 

These jars of deliciousness will feel like sunshine on your pantry shelves in the middle of our coming endless dreary winter days.