Pear Cinnamon Jam

pear cinnamon jam

Last July, I spent a day in Washington, D.C., at the annual summer Fancy Food Show. I walked the show floor. I tasted a world of spreads, snacks, jams and cheeses. I took photos of everything I saw that I liked, intending to come back and write a post rounding up my favorite products from the show. I got as far as uploading my photos to Flickr before life got away from me (this seems to be a common theme with me). I never wrote the post.

pears in my great-grandmother's bowl

Part of the reason I wanted to write that post, was to tell you about a cinnamon pear jam I had tasted. Made by Sidehill Farm in Brattleboro, VT, this jam was the perfect marriage of fruit and spice. The flecks of cinnamon were suspended in a slow cooked jam. If it had been polite, I would have scraped that little sample jar clean before moving on to the next table.

pear cinnamon jam

I think you all know where this story is headed. I’ve made a batch of jam in an attempt to recreate that particular jar. Because pears are one of my favorite fruits for preserving, it wasn’t a stretch for me to take my standard pear jam formula (eight cups chopped fruit and four cups sugar) and apply cinnamon to it. It is heaven.

pear cinnamon jam

I used local Bartlett pears that I ordered through Three Springs Fruit Farm (I got 25 pounds, which is enough to make this batch of jam at least five times over. I did something else with them that I’ll be showing you soon). If you’re in the Philly area, know that Three Springs still has more pears to sell and you can order them straight off their website. I just love how modern technology makes working with farmers so easy.

pear cinnamon jam

When you make this jam, you’ll notice that your finished product will be a bit lighter in color than mine. I’ve made this recipe twice now. The first time I did it (which was the time I took these pictures), I used two tablespoons of ground cinnamon in the jam. And I discovered that that may well have been too much. The second time, I stuck to a more judicious single tablespoon and was much happier with the result.

pear cinnamon jam

Should you be an adventurous sort, you could also add a bit of clove and ginger to this jam, for a decidedly holiday flavor. I didn’t go that route this time, as I was trying to replicate that jam. But now that I’m thinking about it, a jam made with pears and an array of warm, mulling spices could be just wonderful.

Pear Cinnamon Jam

Yield: Makes 3 pints (or 6 half pint jars)

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cored and chopped Bartlett pears (or any smooth, thin-skinned pear. There’s no need to peel.)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine chopped pears and sugar. 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.
  2. Add cinnamon and lemon juice and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the jam looks thick and passes the plate test.
  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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62 Responses to Pear Cinnamon Jam

  1. 1

    Oh man, oh man. This sounds so good! Really, the ultimate breakfast jam.

  2. 2
    Kathleen says:

    I actually spend lots of time in Brattleboro (though I’m from the Philadelphia area)–I’ll have to check out the jam itself next time I’m up there!

  3. 3
    Allison says:

    This looks lovely. Sidehill Farm is semi-local to me (about 2 hours away). One of our very local farm stands carries their jams, and their packaging is just so cute. I’ve included them in a few gift packages, but haven’t tried them myself. You’ve inspired me to go pick up a few…and maybe try this recipe with the pears the farm probably still has available.

  4. 4
    Faythe says:

    I want this. On a toasted bagel.

  5. 5
    Kelly C says:

    I’ve made a lot of pear jam this year after my boss gave me a big sack of pears from their farm. This is my first year canning so I just made straight jam, nothing fancy. I wish I had thought to add cinnamon to some of the batches for a change. After I finished the free pears the price on pears went down and I started making Pear Cranberry Jam from a Ball recipe. It includes cinnamon and I added 1 vanilla bean as you have in previous posts. I think its wonderful. I’ve made 40 half pint jars so far for teacher, coworker gifts. Thanks for the inspiration and good information.

  6. 6
    tj says:

    …Oh. This looks simply divine! :o)

    …Thank you for the recipe as I will be making this real soon. As in, not soon enough ’cause I want it now. *now salivating* ;o)

    …Blessings

  7. 7

    I just learned how to can this year and I’m obsessed! So happy I found your blog… plus, I live in the Philly area!

    I made ginger pear preserves last month and I ate them with brie… beyond delicious! I’ll be trying this recipe!

  8. 8
    Priscila says:

    Hi Marisa! Been following you for a while now and made my first batch of jam last summer (2010) and expanded a little this year. I’m local to Philly too and was just wondering about Three Springs. Did you pick up the pears or do they deliver?
    Thanks!

  9. 9
    mary w says:

    I previously made your Lavender Pear Jam while was delicious. When I got more pears I went to make another batch only to find that I was almost out of sugar. Since this was evening I wasn’t up for a run to the grocery store. I did, however, have brown sugar. That didn’t seem to go well (at least in my head) with lavender so I just made your basic pear jam but with brown sugar. I call it Caramel Pear Jam. Tasty!

    Thanks so much for getting me thinking creatively about canning.

  10. 10
    EB says:

    Do you have a particular cinnamon that you like to use?

  11. 11
    Sara says:

    I’m a recent convert to pear jam. Do you notice a difference when using bosc pears over other types of pears? I made a pear butter recently using bosc and I felt like my yield was far too low. Given that boscs are a baking pear and firm even when ripe, I wondered if this had something to do with it. (I made my jam out of D’Anjou, using your recipe but following Ziedrich’s suggestion to puree first, and it was perfect!)

  12. 12
    Joy says:

    Wow! This looks heavenly! Thank you for the recipe! I’ve pinned this, too!
    xoxo
    Joy

  13. 13

    I need to make this. It sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  14. 14

    It’s funny how you get “in a rut”. I always make pear butter or chutney with my pears. I don’t know why, but I never even think about a pear jam. This sounds wonderful and I may have to make it next year when I get my cooking pears from our neighbor. I can just envision it slathered on a banana chocolate chip muffin or maybe on my favorite pumpkin pancakes!!

  15. 15
    Katie says:

    Hi, Marisa!
    So, I made this jam this afternoon. My first attempt at jam and canning and my finished/sealed jars have a light film on the outside of them. I’m guessing something from my water or the stockpot, but I’m concerned if it’s on the outside, then it’s probably on the inside of the jars I just put this delicious jam in. Have you (or any readers?) ever had that happen?
    Thanks!
    Katie

  16. 16
    Meg says:

    I gave this recipe a try on Sunday when I found bartlett pears on super sale. It smelled delicious, turned out well and made exactly 6 half-pints. It’s quite sweet but I expect it will be delicious on baked brie and pancakes!

  17. 17
    Jennifer says:

    I was SO excited to make this! Sounded fabulous! I was going along fine with the recipe but then all of a sudden it got super thick. I quickly put it in jars, but I now have very thick jam – ugh. Tastes fabulous, but just way too sticky. Any suggestions on how to thin in out or what to do? Thanks!

  18. 18
    fay says:

    hm..i have some bosc pears left from three springs . . .

  19. 19
    Annette says:

    I had a bag of bosq pears that were just not great for eating (we’ve been spoiled with really good Concordes this year), and were starting to look rather pitiful. I am jamming them right now. Mixed with Saigon cinnamon, they are DELIGHTFUL!

  20. 20
    Theresa Murphy says:

    We have a pear tree in our yard and I always make pear honey every year. This will be a great new recipe to add to the line up!

  21. 21

    […] Then the canning bug bit me, and I decided to make some jam. I had read a recipe a while back for pear cinnamon jam. I decided to make […]

  22. 22
    JJ Pair says:

    My recipe is the same as yours with one major difference: Instead of using cinnamon in my pear jam (which is, indeed, a fab marriage of flavors), I use pure vanilla flavoring. About a tablespoon, maybe a tad less, dependent on the strength of the vanilla. I also peal my pears. My Vanilla Pear Jam is a crowd pleaser.

    • 22.1
      Audra Curtis says:

      Did you know you can peel pears the same way you skin tomatos and peaches? Dip them in boiling water for @ 10 seconds, then in ice water and the skin slides off!! (If they’re ripe. If not, you have to rub it off a bit – but MUCH faster/easier then the peeler!!) I was so excited to learn that last year!!

    • 22.2
      George Davis says:

      I love a good variation – I switched the cinnamon for rosemary. Big hit.

  23. 23
    Lee Ann Beck says:

    Is lemon juice required for processed pear jam to get it to the safe acidity level? I see some recipes call for it and others don’t. I also have a recipe that calls for fresh lemon juice but another one that calls for bottled lemon juice and says do not use fresh so I am confused on this! I made a batch of cooked pear jam with fresh lemon juice (the recipe didn’t specify fresh or bottled) and I don’t know whether or not it will be safe to eat now. The recipe called for 8 cups pears, 7 1/2 cups sugar, and 2/3 cup lemon juice (along with some vanilla, pectin and cinnamon). I boiled the jars and lids, and then processed the jam in a hot water bath for 10 minutes as the recipe instructed. Any comments?

    • 23.1
      Marisa says:

      Pears typically have enough acid to be canned without the addition of lemon juice. Asian pears, however, do need lemon juice because they are not as acidic as the more traditional pear varieties. The rule of thumb is that if a recipe does not specify bottled lemon juice, then it is not there for safety, it is simply playing a role to balance the flavor or help out with the set of the finished product. Recipes that need lemon juice in order to be safe will always specify bottled lemon juice.

      I am certain that the jam you made with 2/3 a cup of lemon juice is safe to eat.

  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
    April says:

    I know I am late to the party, but I just made this jam and it is FANTASTIC! I am pretty much eating it right out of the jar. Thank you so much for this recipe. It is definitely a keeper.

  27. 27

    […] day. Well, all week I looked at those pears and tried to find something to do with them. I made jam which was very good, but I still needed something else to round out my canning collection. Well, I […]

  28. 28
    Kristin says:

    I’m curious why this recipe doesn’t need pectin? I recently made your pear vanilla recipe (delicious!) which used liquid pectin but, none in this recipe? I also have a question regarding when to add lemon juice. I see your comment to an earlier poster about this, can you clarify which fruits will always need lemon juice? I’m new to canning, in fact your pear jam was my first attempt and I am so afraid of doing it wrong and poisoning myself. Thanks!

  29. 29
    Rose says:

    Inwas wondering the same thing about pectin here… Why a pouch of liquid pectin in the vanilla recipe, but none in the cinnamon variety? Also, could a lower sugar pectin be used instead of a pouch of the liquid kind? I like my jams on the less sweet side… Have made hundreds of jars of jam… But never pear! I found organic pears on sale and can’t wait to make jam with them!

  30. 30
    cookinmom says:

    We have Asian pears here in northern Florida. They call them sand pears. They’re in between a pear and an apple to me. Gritty and crunchy consistancy but oohhh so good. I especially like them cold out of the fridge. I have canned them in halves but was wondering if they would be good in this recipe. They are not quite as sweet as regular pears and have a thick skin. Any suggestions????

    • 30.1
      Marisa says:

      Asian pears are lower in acid that other pears, so they can’t be substituted for other pears in canning recipes.

  31. 31
    Alexis says:

    I, too, was wondering about the pectin in this recipe but not in the other.

  32. 32
    amber says:

    I 1/2 the sugar and added 2 Tbs cinnamon. omg delicious! Making again next year.

  33. 33
    Hilary says:

    Ditto all the questions about the pectin!

  34. 34
    Marisa says:

    Folks, the difference in the pectin is simply that I made these recipes at different times of my life and my jam making technique is forever evolving.

    As far as using lower sugar pectin, I’ve not made it that way, so I can’t advise you on how to make that substitution. You could certainly give it a shot, but I don’t have those measurements handy.

  35. 35

    […] tree this year. I immediately knew what I wanted to make with her pears: pear-cinnamon jam from Food in Jars blog. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a long time, and can safely say that it exceeds […]

  36. 36
    Maria says:

    Made a batch with some Concorde pears and it’s delish! Used a bit less sugar, maybe a 1/4 c, because they were so sweet and it took a while to cook/gel because of all the liquid they released, but it was worth it. Perfect amount of cinnamon IMHO and no problems with it setting up just right. These little gems are for sure going in gift baskets.

    Thank you for a great recipe!

  37. 37
    Susie says:

    I was so pleased to find this recipe, since everyone else seemed to say that pear jam wasn’t a possibility (just pear butter or jelly). We made it this morning and it gelled beautifully. One thing: to my taste this is very, very sweet–can I reduce the sugar next time, to good effect? Thanks!

  38. 38

    […] They have a delicate, flexible flavor that goes well with nearly anything (including vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and lavender). They work in fruit butters, jams, and chutneys. Many varieties […]

  39. 39
    George Davis says:

    I made a variation of this batch a week ago for last minute Christmas presents. I switched cinnamon for rosemary (like in the Apricot/Rosemary Jam.) It turned out great for my first canning! Bit hit among the family. Maybe a bit sweet for my taste, but thats pear jam for you. Thoughts on pepper jelly as my follow up?

  40. 40

    […] our internet connection had fizzled and Comcast wouldn’t answer my calls. Also, I was making jam with a friend all afternoon. We peeled, cored and chopped two grocery bags of pears, and now I […]

  41. 41
    Debbie Quick says:

    Can I do this as a freezer jam? I need to make this quickly, since my pears are ready now…do you reply via email…that would be my preference…

    Thanks in advance,

    Debbie Quick :)

    • 41.1
      Marisa says:

      Debbie, you can always opt to freeze your jam instead of canning it. So sorry, but I can’t reply via email. My inbox is threatening to overflow as it is.

  42. 42
    Paige says:

    Can I switch out the sugar for brown sugar?

  43. 43
    cathy says:

    Made the pear and cinnamon. Love the jam it is just right flavor and taste. A lot sugar, but great taste.

  44. 44
    Susan says:

    A neighbor gifted me several pounds a pears a few weeks ago. I made this jam and yesterday opened a jar to smear on my morning toast. OMG! It is the best! Smooth, richly flavored, and of the perfect spread-ability. I am tempted to plant my own pear tree just to be sure that I can make this again and again and again.

  45. 45
    Pat Brannon says:

    Can I substitute an artificial sweetener for the sugar?

    • 45.1
      Marisa says:

      Unfortunately not. Artificial sweeteners don’t have the same chemical reaction as sugars do. The fruit won’t thicken into jam without the sugar.

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