Friday, 21 November 2008

Pickled Pears

Pickled Pears, and the book I got the recipe from (though it appears in more or less the same form in several of my cookery/preserves books). This particular book was from the local Car Boot Sale for just 50p (unopened?!) - I nearly bit the woman's hand off!

Pears cooking in the syrup, which smells WONDERFUL!

That's what I've been making this morning, and will make another batch when I get some more pears tomorrow. They'll make lovely Christmas gifts. You can also adapt this recipe to use peaches.

Thinly pared rind and juice of one small lemon
2 level teaspoons cloves
2 level teaspoons allspice berries
2 cinnamon sticks, each 5cm (2") long
1 small piece dried ginger root, bruised (I had fresh, so used that instead)
1 litre (1 3/4 pints)white wine vinegar or distilled malt vinegar (I used organic cider vinegar as that's what I had in the house)
150ml (1/4 pint) water
1 kg (2lb 2oz) caster sugar
2.3 kg (5 lbs) firm William pears, peeled, halved and cored OR
1.8 kg (4 lb) ripe but firm peaches, halved, skinned and stoned

Prep. time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 4 mins
Standing time: 3 days

Tie the lemon rind and spices in a small square of muslin. Pour the vinegar and the water into a preserving pan, add the lemon juice, spices and sugar and stir over a moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the fruit to the syrup and simmer for 15 mins or until just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a colander, set over a large bowl, to drain. Discard the bag of spices.

Boil the syrup for 15 mins or until reduced by about a third and slightly thickened. Pack the fruit into warmed jars and cover with the syrup. Cover immediately with vinegarproof lids and seal tightly. Refrigerate any leftover syrup.

After three days, open the jars, pour the syrup into a saucepan and add any reserved syrup. Bring to the boil, boil for three minutes, then pour back over pears, cover and seal immediately. Label and store in a cool, dark, airy cupboard for at least a month before using. (The jar I was given as a gift had a piece of cinnamon quill in it, so I have done this too.)

Oh, and here are today's pickled onions. I have some more to peel - can only do one batch at a time as my eyes were really streaming peeling them on Wednesday. I did a cold pickle for them, so there are pickling spices, a cinnamon quill, and some cloves in there to give flavour.


Cheryl said...

Pickled the recipe....they sound delicious....I must say this is a first for me.....

Pickled onions.....yum I love them, do them every year.......

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

It all looks so rustic and tasty too!
Pickled onions...Yum!

Bovey Belle said...

Personally, I think they taste "spiced" as much as pickled - the pears that is. A good accompaniment to cold meat, especially at Christmas.

daisy said...

They look lovely, its definately on my to do list to start pickling so I'm collecting recipes.

Rowan said...

The pickled pears look beautiful - and I recognize the book, I've got it too:)

Arlene Grimm said...

My mother used to make pickled peaches when I was a girl...they are good too. More like spiced as you say.

Bovey Belle said...

It's a great book isn't it Rowan? I don't think my copy had ever been even opened let alone used . . .

Arlene - Do you have a family recipe to follow then? I wondered how close to the recipe I'm using it might be.

Daisy - Pattypan is a mine of information when it comes to preserves and has put lots of recipes up on CL.

Mam said...

This sounds so good to me! I love anything with that sweet/sour effect. I've had chutney, too that sounds like it might taste somewhat similar. Wish I could stop in for tea!