Holiday Pear Conserve

This Holiday Pear Conserve is a low-sugar cooked conserve made with Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Pomona’s Universal Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Universal Pectin. She says: Besides being delicious, this conserve is extremely versatile, which makes it great to have on hand during the busy holiday season.

Yield: 4 to 5 cups

Before You Begin:

Prepare calcium water.  To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.  Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.



2 pounds pears

1/2 cup finely-chopped, dried apricots

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans (dry without any oil)

1/4 cup minced orange peel

1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground (powdered) ginger

1/2 cup lemon juice

4 teaspoons calcium water

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin



1.) Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands.  Set screw bands aside until ready to use.  Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil.  Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use.  Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.

2.) Peel and core the pears.  Dice the pears (approximately 1/2-inch dice) and place in a sauce pan.

3.) Add the chopped apricots, raisins, toasted and chopped pecans, minced orange peel, orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger to sauce pan.

4.) Cover the mixture and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer, still covered, for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat.

5.) Transfer the mixture into a bowl or other heat-proof container, then measure out 4 cups of the mixture.  (If you have any left over, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured quantity of the mixture back into the sauce pan. Add the lemon juice and calcium water, and stir to combine.

6.) In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder.  Mix well and set aside.

7.) Put the sauce pan on the stove and bring the pear mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return conserve to a boil, then remove from heat.

8.) Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with conserve, leaving ¼  inch of headspace.  Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).

9.) Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner.  (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water).  Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)

11.) Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes.  Then, remove jars from canner.

12.) Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.  Then, confirm that jars have sealed.  Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.




Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy

Photos by Shelby Collings

Read Allison’s full blog post here

You may also like: Christmas Jam

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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10 thoughts on “Holiday Pear Conserve

    • Hello Martha,

      You would need to order that from us! We have emailed you to try and get your mailing address so we can get you back to jammin’!

  1. This recipe looks wonderful, and I will try it with some remaining pears.
    2 questions about pears:
    1/ I have done Pear Butter with Pomona and find that it is too tight a jel. I had wanted a softer jel; so I used 4 t calcium water + 2 t pectin. What should I have done instead to get a softer gel?
    2/ I have done 1 qt of canned pear pie filling, and mistakenly I used a whole pouch of pectin, making a huge sticky congeal. I canned the qt anyway, but am thinking to open it up and try to rectify. what should I do to thin out this extremely thick congeal?
    Thank you VERY much for your advise. Hm.

    • Hello HM,
      Thanks so much for choosing Pomona’s Pectin!
      1. For a softer jell, you will want to add less pectin, you can use our Grape Butter Recipe as a guide, HERE.

      2. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything you can do to rectify your pear pie filling.

      Happy jamming!

    • Hello Marianne,

      We used Asian Pears for ours, but you are welcome to use any kind that are in season in your area.

      Happy jamming!

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