Pear-Vanilla Jam

bowl of pearsPear-Vanilla Jam is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy. This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin.

Allison says: “Autumn is putting us through our paces this year. . . . All I really care about right now is making food that’s nourishing, delicious, and simple. Fortunately, this delicious jam fits the bill perfectly. Enjoy!”

pear-vanilla jam

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.

Pear-Vanilla Jam Ingredients

3¼ pounds ripe pears
1 vanilla bean
¼ cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin Powder

Pear-Vanilla Jam Directions

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 pears and remove cores. Then, place pears in a large bowl and mash them thoroughly (a potato masher works well for this).

3. Measure out 4 cups of the mashed pear (you may have some left over; if so, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured amount of mashed pear into a large sauce pan.

4. Slice vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds (a paring knife works well for this). Add the vanilla seeds, along with the pod itself, to the mashed pear. Add the lemon juice and calcium water, then stir to combine.

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

6. Bring the pear mixture up to rolling boil over high heat. Add sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat. Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.

7. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, 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).

8. 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 to 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.)

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

10. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 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 and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Read Allison’s complete blog post here.

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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8 thoughts on “Pear-Vanilla Jam

    • Hello Tanya,

      Thanks so much for reaching out with such an important question! Lemon juice is necessary to ensure that the pH level of your jam is safe for canning. You could omit the lemon juice and freeze your jam instead, but it will have a much shorter “shelf life” once thawed and stored in the refrigerator.

      Citric Acid can be substituted – it will adjust the acidity (lower the pH) of the fruit, which is what you want to do. 1/4 teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. 1 teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to ¼ cup lemon juice (4 Tablespoons). Citric Acid lowers pH and imparts tartness to the fruit mixture, but it doesn’t add a particular flavor.

      Ascorbic Acid cannot be substituted for lemon or lime juice or vinegar in a Pomona’s recipe. It is simply Vitamin C powder. It will not lower the pH of the fruit. It is commonly used to prevent browning in cut fresh fruit or fruit that will be canned.

      Citric Acid and Ascorbic Acid are two different acids, with different chemical compositions. Both are present in lemon juice.

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