Thursday, October 04, 2012

on pears and waste and doing what you can


windy and rainy weather have not been kind to the pears. many have blown to the ground and are now bruised and unusable. it makes me rather sad. i've canned some and made pear-ginger jam, but still, it's an incredible waste lying there on the ground, rotting. i have this feeling i should have done more. i should have made pear cider. i should have canned more. i should have made more jam. should have, should have, should have... i have an almost overwhelming sense of guilt at the waste.


my jam is delicious - plenty of ginger, organic sugar and vanilla with the pears. but i'm not really that good at jam other than achieving good flavor. i have trouble with it setting properly, so this is really quite runny and more of an ice cream topping than a jam per se. and i don't know why that is. i do the test on a cold plate and that always appears to set up, but once i put it in jars, i almost never get a proper set. i used jam sugar, which has pectin in it for this batch, as pears have almost no pectin themselves. i followed the instructions on the package and in pam corbin's wonderful river cottage preserves book, but still, it's a thin syrup. but it tastes great, especially with a bit of blue cheese on a nice cracker, so we're using it anyway.

i guess i'll just have to try harder next year.

8 comments:

globeonmytable said...

Try boiling for longer. When I make my small batches of jam, just 2 punnets at a time, I set the timer for 4 mins boiling and stirring time. Once you find the length of time you are currently using, just alter it and note down the result. Good luck.

Whenever my jam is too well set I add some boiling water to the pot and stir it well to make it more runny!!

King of New York Hacks said...

I would kill to have some of that on my bagel this morning !! Looks De-lish !! I have to settle for Smuckers Jelly which is VERY disappointing after reading this and looking at the wonderful photos (drooling) Cheers, !

Kamana said...

sounds delish!

heidikins said...

That sounds divine! Recipe, please? My Mom used to make a pear butter that was applesauce-like in consistency with cinnamon and nutmeg in it. It is still my favorite thing to have on toast. :)

xox

Bookish Times said...

hi julie. It looks super yummy and beautiful. some waste is a natural part of the fruit growing process so don't feel guilty because you have already done such an amazing job with the jam..

kristina - no penny for them said...

hit there! looks and sounds scrumptious! a friend of mine is using organic jam sugar and has the same issues. apparently, you can get a better set by cooking longer (which may compromise the flavour though), or adding additional lemon juice or citric acid. that again may have an impact on the flavour. for those reasons - and because i'm lazy that way ;) - i'm using standard jam sugar (1:2 usually), and it works a treat, even with pectin-low fruit.

(p.s.: lucky you for having pear trees! i'm sure the rotting fruit are part of the natural cycle. but equally, i would probably feel the same, i'm a guilt expert... :))

kristina - no penny for them said...

p.s.: on second thought, i have seen little sachets or tubs of organic (apple) pectin at health food stores, perhaps try adding that?

Raeraggs said...

Hello. Do you know of a farmer you can share your fallen fruit with? Pigs and chickens would love it. Like the others have said though, its part of a cycle, and the nutrients will return to the earth to be put into your pears next year. Or perhaps the deer and other critters will enjoy some of them.