pear and ginger jam
last year a friend gave me a jar of pear and ginger jam from Ottolenghi – it was her new obsession and really delicious. since then I've occasionally looked online for a recipe that i could use to replicate it but there doesn’t seem to be many pear jam recipes out there. this is probably due to the fact that pears are low in pectin so getting pear jams to set can be tricky.
last weekend i decided to try and make a batch, having seen this recipe on dollop of cream. the recipe is in cups which is easy enough when you’re dealing with certain ingredients but “10 cups of peeled, cored and sliced pears” is less easy to translate so i also looked at this recipe from cottage smallholder for pear and lemon jam.
there was debate about whether or not to add water to the fruit and sugar mix. i didn’t bother and was glad i hadn’t as the pears released a lot of their own liquid.
i used a mix of lemon juice and zest and jam sugar to address the pectin issue. I've not used jam sugar before and was unsure if it would have a negative effect on the flavour but i didn’t notice any impact so would happily use it again. the lemon flavour was very pronounced as the jam was cooking but it mellowed by the time the jam was ready.
the ginger was very subtle when the mix was cooking but it does come through in the finished jam. the shape of the pear pieces is worth thinking about if you make this jam – i used conference pears and was expecting the pear pieces to disintegrate. instead, as you can see in the picture above, the pears stayed largely intact. as a result, slices might be a nice alternative.
for me this was a pretty good effort at replicating the ottolenghi jam but i need to find out what my friend thinks…
pear and ginger jam (makes c3 jars)
1kg peeled and cored pears, cut into dice or slices
650g sugar (i used a 50:50 mix of white sugar and jam sugar)
zest and juice from 2 small lemons
1 heaped tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
place all the ingredients in a large pan, bring to a gentle boil, leave uncovered and stir frequently until the mix begins to change colour (mine was a very pale yellow and started to become an apricot colour).
to test if the jam is ready – start checking after c30 mins – place a small amount of the jam liquid on a plate that has been chilled in the fridge. return the plate to the fridge for two minutes then test the jam – use your finger to push the jam along the plate – if it starts to wrinkleas you push it, then the jam will set. you can also use a thermometer.