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  • Writer's pictureElaine

Pear Vanilla Jam

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Simply sublime. A glorious condiment on a croissant, addition to a peanut butter sandwich, bruschetta with warm Brie, in oatmeal or yogurt, or right from the spoon to mouth.

And easy to make, you don’t even peel the pears.

In this photo my cooking assistant Stella Jo surveys the incoming supply. As usual when preserving, don’t ever use supermarket fruit. It’s traveled from too far away, surely been handled badly, stored too long and improperly, and perhaps worse. Find a farmer and source some Bradford pears or other soft skinned pears directly from a local orchard. Where I live in Michigan they come into season in September.

They will come in unripe. Set them out on towels or sheets to ripen. This could take 2-3 weeks. They need to get very yellow, even a bit browning. Refrigerate those that get ahead of the others, they will hold there until all are ready. Full ripeness matters. Don't wash them until you are ready to process them.

About Pamona Universal Pectin Powder: this magical potion is why you can make this jam with a minimum of sugar. As their website says: "Jells with low amounts of any sweetener. Contains no sugar or preservatives. Regular fruit pectin requires your jam or jelly to be 55-85% sugar to set firmly. Pomona's is pure citrus pectin with no dextrose or preservatives. Its jelling power is activated by calcium.”

About the vanilla beans, oooo so wonderful ! Enjoy the process of carefully cutting down their long center and scraping their sticky black treasure from the membrane. Yes, the vanilla beans are uber expensive, but they are essential to the texture and taste of the jam. Substitution of liquid vanilla would be ruinous. I buy online from reputable, organic sources.


This recipe makes about 8 pints. Can be doubled or tripled with no issues, just measure appropriately. Personally, I have learned that 1/2 pint and tiny 4oz jelly jars are the ideal size for small family and charcuterie use. The full pint jar size is for those who slather this jam on everything, and I make a few at this size for them. 🙏🏻😂

16 cups cored and chopped very ripe thin-skinned pears (no need to peel)

4 vanilla beans, split and scraped

4 cups sugar

5 teaspoons Pamona‘s Pectin powder

10 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin calcium water


In a large, heavy pot, combine the pears, vanilla beans and all the yummy vanilla goo scraped out of them. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft and smashable. Remove the vanilla pods. Use an immersion blender to create a smooth sauce.

Add the calcium water. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the pectin powder with the sugar, then stir into the fruit sauce.

Bring to a roiling boil for 5 minutes.

Fill canning jars, leaving 1/4“ headspace, and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Friends and family will thank you for shared jars of this spectacular treat.

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