‘Tis a fortunate thing to have friends with fruit trees… even more so when they quite generously wish to share them with you. Following on from my earlier post on Pear and Almond Upside-Down Cake, John has continued to bring along bags of pears each and every week for all who have met up for coffee on Wednesdays. They are sadly reaching the end of their season now, so this may well be the last of the home-grown pears… until next year.
I’ve not been the only one to create delicious treats in the kitchen using these gifted pears. Two of the other Mums, who we meet up with, brought along ‘Pear & Blueberry Butter’ (which we slathered on home-made scones in situ and then graciously each took home a little jar for later) as well as a wonderfully moist Pear Cake. All in all, a fabulous celebration of the Pears of 2015!
Since the cake I made a few weeks ago was so very quickly devoured by my family, I wanted to make a little something to share with my coffee friends. Here’s hoping they’ll enjoy these little jars of Spiced Pickled Pears, that I’ll pass on to them next week.
Spiced Pickled Pears | Gather and Graze
- 500ml (2 Cups) Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 500g (2¼ Cups) Raw Caster Sugar
- 8 Strips of Fresh Lemon Peel (pared carefully from the lemon with no pith)
- 60ml (¼ Cup) Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 Star Anise (broken into pieces)
- 1 Cinnamon Stick (broken into chunks)
- 8 Whole Cloves
- 1 Teaspoon Whole Peppercorns (lightly crushed using a mortar and pestle)
- 1 Small Red Chilli (seeded and thinly sliced)
- 1kg Pears (cored and sliced, I prefer to leave the skin on)
Be sure to sterilise your jars while the pears are poaching, so that they are ready to go when required.
Place all ingredients except for the pears into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring now and then to ensure that the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears and allow to simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the pears are lovely and tender. Remove the pears, using a slotted spoon to a colander sitting over a bowl. Bring the remaining liquid in the saucepan back up to the boil and allow to bubble away for about a further 15 minutes, until slightly syrupy.
Divide the pear slices equally into your jars, being sure to get a little of the lemon peel, spices and chilli into each jar as well. Using a ladle, top up each jar with the spiced vinegar liquid. Seal with lids.
At this point, I placed my filled jars into a hot water bath (a stockpot of boiling water) for about 15 minutes, before removing to the kitchen bench to sit until they reached room temperature.
Label the jars and then store them somewhere nice and cool (preferably for about a month) before opening.
Spiced Pickled Pears are lovely served with a cheese platter or alongside cold cuts of meat or better still… warmed slightly to accompany a delicious roast dinner.
Recipe adapted from one found on the BBC Good Food website.