Pear Vanilla Jam

pear vanilla jam

Despite the fact that I’ve now made this jam twice in as many weeks, I don’t have any pretty progress shots of it. I made it once with a class and another time for a video shoot, so there just weren’t any moments to snap a few images. However, it tastes so good that I didn’t want to deprive you all of the opportunity to make it just because I wasn’t able to make time for photography.

This is truly a transformative jam for vanilla lovers. Flavor-wise, pears are fairly retiring, so they provide a perfect platform for the vanilla to shine. What’s more, when cooked, the pears take on a translucent, golden-y hue that allows all those vanilla bean flecks to show their stuff.

pear vanilla jam on toast

Last Saturday night, we had a party to celebrate my husband’s 34th birthday. As in traditional in our little family of two, we put together a board of eight cheeses for our guests. I pulled out a couple of jars of jam to serve as accompaniment, but it was this one that got all the love. Paired with a runny triple creme, people were speechless with the goodness of it. Because I’m a girl who loves to share, I gave all the other jars away as late night party favors and now I’m totally out (I finished off the jar you see above yesterday). I may have to make another batch, so you may see those pictures yet.

Note: Often I’ll tell you that you can substitute vanilla extract for the more pricey beans. However, I do not recommend it in this recipe. Splurge a little and get the two beans. They are a vital ingredient in this recipe and I just don’t think you’ll be happy with the outcome should you make a substitution.

Pear Vanilla Jam

Yield: Makes 3.5 Pints (fills seven half pint jars)


  • 8 cups chopped Bartlett pears (or any smooth, thin-skinned pear. There’s no need to peel.)
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 packet liquid pectin


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine chopped pears, sugar and vanilla beans (and all that bean-y goodness you scraped out). Cook over medium heat until the fruit can easily be smashed with the back of a wooden spoon. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to break the fruit down into a mostly-smooth sauce (remove the vanilla bean solids before blending).
  2. Add the pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Let boil for a full five minutes in order to active the pectin, so that the finished product will have a nice jammy consistency.
  3. Fill jars, wipe rims to remove any residual jam, apply lids (heat canning lids in a small pot over very low heat while you’re preparing the jam to ensure a good seal) and screw on the rims.
  4. Process the filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (start the timer when the pot has returned to a boil). When the time has elapsed, remove jars from pot and place the jars on a towel-lined countertop. Let them cool undisturbed for at least two hours. During this time, the lids should seal. Check to ensure the jars have sealed by pushing down on the center of the lid. If it feels solid and doesn’t move, it is sealed.

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236 Responses to Pear Vanilla Jam

  1. 151

    This looks amazing. I hope we get some good pears in my local green grocer soon so I can try it. I shared it yesterday on my Facebook page, Cooking with Whole Grains & Real Whole Foods. I can almost smell it cooking, just reading the recipe. Thank you!

  2. 152
    Robin says:

    I just made this and oh my stars! SO amazing!! I’m so-so with pears, they’re nice but I certainly don’t put them in my top 5 fruit loves, but somehow this sounded special – and it did not disappoint. Very delicate flavor and the vanilla beans, (not vanilla extract!) is a key to the gorgeous flavor you get. I will HAVE to go get more pears and make more for gifts! Thanks!!

  3. 153
    Gen says:

    This sounds awesome – I usually make pear preserves but this sounds delicious and much easier! Can you please explain “packet of liquid pectin”? In our area, it is usually found in a jar. Do I use the entire jar? Or we have powdered sure jell available…… Suggestions? I am not sure what size packet you are referring to.

    Do you think vanilla bean paste could be substituted?

    Thank you! I have some fresh picked pears and will be trying this tonight if I can find the right pectin!

  4. 154
    Sara says:

    Hi I would love to make this for my parents but they are both diabetic. Is there a substitution that would work in place of the sugar? Thank you

  5. 155
    Michelle says:

    I have never canned before, do these jars of jam need to be refrigerated? And how long are they good for? Thanks I am making this right now!

    • 155.1
      Marisa says:

      Once the jars are fully sealed, they are shelf stable and do not need to be refrigerated. Once you open the jars, they do need to be refrigerated. While sealed, they are good for up to a year. Once in the fridge, they keep for a couple months at least.

  6. 156
    Rebecca says:

    Can this recipe be modified to use low acidic Asian pears? Thank you!

  7. 157
    Jane says:

    Pectin question, please (I think I’ve seen this here, but want to make sure): I’ve made this delicious recipe a couple of times, and just now noticed your pear cinnamon jam recipe. I see that one does not use liquid pectin. Can I make this recipe WITHOUT the pectin? Or can I use the other (cinnamon) recipe and add 1-2 scraped vanilla beans? I have delicious local pears! Thanks!

  8. 158

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