Day 32: Cinnamon Pear Jam

Cinnamon Pear Jam 
Day Thirty-Two (21.06.2012)
Processing: Hot Water Bath Canner 10mins
Yield: 3 x half-pints (3 cups)

DH did grocery shopping last night, and came back with 2 bags (2kg) of pears that were very ripe and needed to be used today. I planned on making pear and dried fig jam yet didn't have any brown sugar so had to go have a look at recipes again. Then I started making pear butter for our 8mth old daughter but the pears needed the sugar and something else, they were bland on their own :/ Below is how I made this jam, which is sweet but not over the top sweet and the cinnamon gives it that extra "umph" and makes it quite tasty ...
Soaking pear pieces in
lemon juice and water
prevents browning
Draining cooked pear,
retaining cooking liquid
As my pears were very ripe, I didn't need to peel them - just used my paring knife to remove the skins and blemishes and slice the pears into pieces. To stop browning, add the lemon juice and water to the pot, adding the slices as you cut up each pear. This was especially handy as when I had to stop to look after my baby girl, the pear didn't go brown. Bring the pot to a boil, simmering uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the pear is very, very soft. Drain but reserve some of the liquid. Often I serve this juice (I cook the fruit in water without the lemon juice) and serve up for the kids, they love it! Measure the amount of pear back into the pot, add a half cup of the cooking liquid per 2 1/2 cups of fruit (ie I had 2 1/2 cups of drained pear pieces so added 1/2 cup of the liquid).

Processed pear puree
ready to make into jam
Process pear mixture (I used my immersion blender) until smooth. Add equal amount of white sugar (1 cup fruit = 1 cup sugar), stirring to dissolve. Add extra lemon juice and cinnamon, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, add pectin then bring back to a boil, boiling for 1 minute on high, then test for set. If jam has not set, boil for a further minute or two, repeating until set has achieved.  Ladle into hot half-pint jars to 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace, remove bubbles, wipe rims, apply seals and twist bands on to fingertip-tight. Process in hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove jars after 5 minutes to a teatowel-covered bench to rest overnight. The next day remove bands, label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. I made 3 x half-pints of jam using this recipe.
1kg (2 pounds) pears, whole
1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
4 cups (1 litre) water
2 cups white sugar, approximately
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons pectin (half a packet)
I ordered three canning books today - the Flavor Bible, Better Homes & Gardens Can It! and Gourmet Preserves (which has lots of recipes that don't rely on adding powdered pectin). Exciting stuff! :(^_^): I can't believe one month of canning has passed already - I am inspired by so many around me that share their canning creations that I have a long list of to-do recipes!

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