Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sweet Saturday, Maple Walnut Pear Conserve

     This the post that almost wasn't. First, it is a gorgeous day out, 12 degrees, at the end of November. Hardly ever happens. Second, I'm prepping to do a gingerbread house demo for a couple of relatives tomorrow so, shopping, looking for the recipe and cleaning the house to avoid embarrassment.(I'm not a domestic god) Finally, clumsy met in a hurry and I dropped the folders containing the hundreds of recipes I have all over the floor. All mixed up, will take for ever to sort back out.

     Luckily, thinking ahead me, already had this recipe pulled out, not that I remembered that right away, I spent a while looking for it anyway. With Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas is on everyone's mind. This and tomorrow's post will be gift giving ideas if you like doing that sort of thing. I definitely do.

     This is how I received the recipe, not how I make it and I'm trying a new preparation this year so I'll share how that turns out. The original works well and I only make one small substitution.

Maple Walnut Pear Conserve
4 cups coarsely chopped, peeled and cored pears
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh or bottled
1 57g package of pectin crystals
3 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Prepare six 1 cup/250 ml canning jars and lids as per manufacturer's instructions
In a heavy bottomed stock pot, combine pears and lemon juice.
Add pectin.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
Stir in sugar and bring back to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
(A rolling boil is one you can't stir down?
Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup and nuts.

Ladle into prepared jars leaving1/4 inch head space.
Apply lids and bands, tighten to fingertip tightness.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove from canner and let cool.
Check seals, refrigerate any unsealed jars. Will be good for about three weeks in the fridge.

Use any kind of nuts or omit them, I use pecans because I like them better than walnuts
You can replace the nuts with an equal amount of raisins, craisins or dried cherries.

     This is not supposed to set firm like jam. It should be about the consistency of honey. Because it is a little runnier, you can adjust the sugar a bit. I usually use this on French toast or in cookies so it doesn't matter how runny it actually is. If it is really runny, the set failed, it will separate. Just give the jar a shake and enjoy. As long as it sealed properly, the contents should be fine.

     The recipe is from an insert that came with my jars but there is no credit attached to the recipe so I'm assuming it is from Bernardin. I'm trying it with liquid pectin this year. We'll see how that turns out.

     Typically, I give away about 60-70 jars of jams, pickles, preserves and jellies over the holiday season. There is something about giving and receiving home made treats that just makes the holidays that much better. Enjoy.

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