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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- Add cinnamon and lemon juice and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the jam looks thick and passes the plate test.
- 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.
- 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.
Oh man, oh man. This sounds so good! Really, the ultimate breakfast jam.
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!
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.
I want this. On a toasted bagel.
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.
…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)
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!
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?
You have to pick the pears up from Three Springs, at one of their farmers’ market locations. I pick up from them at the Headhouse Square market on Sundays.
Oh Great!! Thanks!
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.
That sounds amazing! I never thought of using brown sugar for canning!
Do you have a particular cinnamon that you like to use?
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!)
Wow! This looks heavenly! Thank you for the recipe! I’ve pinned this, too!
I need to make this. It sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
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!!
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?
Those are mineral deposits from hard water. It won’t do any harm, but in the future, you can prevent it by pouring about a cup of white vinegar into your canning pot.
Oh, that is good news! Thanks!
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!
Glad you like it!
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!
hm..i have some bosc pears left from three springs . . .
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!
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!
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.
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!!
I did not know that! Thanks for the tip!
I love a good variation – I switched the cinnamon for rosemary. Big hit.
I wonder what it would taste like, using a bit of pumpkin pie spice, instead of plain cinnamon? We love pears!
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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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????
Asian pears are lower in acid that other pears, so they can’t be substituted for other pears in canning recipes.
I, too, was wondering about the pectin in this recipe but not in the other.
I 1/2 the sugar and added 2 Tbs cinnamon. omg delicious! Making again next year.
Ditto all the questions about the pectin!
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.
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!
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!
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?
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 🙂
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.
Can I switch out the sugar for brown sugar?
Ohhh thank you so much for responding, I made this the other day tinkering with the spices, I added cloves, ginger, nutmeg and allspice…can’t wait to try this with some brown sugar!
You’re welcome! Your version sounds delicious!
Made the pear and cinnamon. Love the jam it is just right flavor and taste. A lot sugar, but great taste.
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.
Can I substitute an artificial sweetener for the sugar?
Unfortunately not. Artificial sweeteners don’t have the same chemical reaction as sugars do. The fruit won’t thicken into jam without the sugar.
I just started canning this winter, and I’ve made a few of your recipes so far. I have to admit that when I made this pear cinnamon jam the other day, I had a ho-hum attitude about another fall-winter fruit flavored with cinnamon. To change up the flavors, I used Chinese five spice instead of straight cinnamon, and lime juice instead of lemon. It was FABULOUS! I think this is my favorite of all my canning projects so far. Thanks for all your recipes and tips!
Just made this (the lids are pinging as I type), and it’s beyond delicious. Some tweaks I made: used half granulated and half brown sugar, added a little ground nutmeg, cloves, and ginger to the cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla extract. Yummy! Summer has been so hot and sticky and stormy that I’m looking forward to fall, and these flavors make it seem as though crisp air and falling leaves are just around the corner. Thank you!
I’m a new canner but I’m loving your easy to execute recipes. I made this today, but decided to sub the cinnamon for ginger (since everything else I had made us cinnamon flavored too, and I don’t want my gift baskets to be “one note”). I used a bit less than a Tbsp fresh grated ginger, and just a smidge cinnamon and allspice to balance it. Its lovely! The ginger shines but the sweet pears keep it from being spicy.
So glad to hear that you were able to make the recipe yours!
I actually just finished my jar of Side Hill Farm Cinnamon Pear preserves which I had been slowly rationing because it is so delicious. I went to search how to make it, and this page came up actually naming the exact thing I want to replicate!! Why have I never found this site??!! How exciting!! Thank you! I know I can do this now!
Dot, just so you know, I believe that the Side Hill Farm Cinnamon Pear Preserves is a bit higher in sugar than the recipe I included in this post. So it’s not an exact match.
Hi, may I know the way to store these jam? And also how long will these jam lasts? Tq
Once processed, the jars should be kept in a cool, dark place. They’ll keep at least a year.
Is it possible to double this recipe or would I have to make it into two batches?