For years now, if I had extra pears laying around the apartment, I would make a little batch of Pear Vanilla Jam or Pear Vanilla Drizzle. However, with the current vanilla prices, I am becoming more and more stingy with my dwindling stash of vanilla beans. Instead of giving up on pears, I’m reaching out for different ways to increase their deliciousness.
This little batch of pear drizzle* is a good example. Instead of reaching for a precious vanilla bean, I looked around the kitchen and found a little knob of fresh ginger and a single withering lemon. The finished drizzle is bright rather than smooth, but lacks nothing in appeal. I took one little jar to a breakfast gathering recently and we spooned thick layers onto flaky pastries. No one complained and a friend was delighted when I suggested she take the rest of the jar home with her.
If you are finding vanilla beans similarly cost-prohibitive these days, I encourage you to join me in looking around the kitchen for alternate inspiration.
*I use this word to describe a preserve that is pureed smooth, but doesn’t have the thicker consistency of a fruit butter.
- 4 pounds relatively ripe Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou pears
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 6 half pints
- Core and chop the pears and place them in a low, wide non-reactive pot. Add the sugar, ginger, and lemon zest and juice
- Place pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring regularly, until the fruit softens and the liquid around the edges of the fruit begins to thickens, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- When the drizzle is finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. If you have to tip the pan slightly to get the immersion blender to work properly, make sure to protect your hands.
- Funnel the drizzle into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel.
- When jars are cool enough to handle, check the seals. All sealed jars are shelf stable for up to one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.