Recipe: Poire William vanilla pear jam from the cookbook “Jam Today”

Just in time for winter pear season, here is a gorgeous recipe for Poire William vanilla pear jam from the cookbook Jam Today How To Put Up Gorgeous Jams Even If You’ve Never Done So Before after the break. It is incredibly easy (a lot easier than I thought jam was to make), and perfect for this time of year.

Poire William vanilla pear jam
There are some flavors that just sing in the mouth. This is one of them. Don’t believe me? Top a warm scone with a fat dollop of clotted cream. Top that with an equally generous dab of this jam. See how delicate and lovely this is. All it needs is an accompanying pot of hot tea to be a little slice of perfect.

2 pounds pears
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup Poire William (a sweet liqueur distilled from Bartlett pears)
1 vanilla bean, split (cut in half, lengthwise), seeds removed (scrape the inside of each half with the edge of your knife to collect the seeds) and reserve
3 tablespoons homemade apple pectin

Place three teaspoons on a small plate in your freezer.

Place a large, wide pan on a cold burner. Wash, peel, core, roughly dice (cut into cubes) the pears. Pour into your pot. Add the sugar and lemon zest and juice. Stir. Let macerate for 30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the pear dices and reserve in a mixing bowl. Add the Poire William and the vanilla seeds (tuck the pods into a sealed jar of white sugar to make fragrant vanilla sugar) to the juice. Turn the burner to medium high and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the homemade apple pectin into the pears and roughly mash the mixture with a potato masher.

Once the juice has thickened, add the mashed pears and liquid from the mixing bowl to the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the jam is thick. Skim and discard any foam that forms on top.

Scoop a teaspoon of jam out of the pot with one of your freezer spoons and return the spoon to the freezer for 1-2 minutes or until the jam is room temperature. Remove the spoon from the freezer and hold it vertically. If the jam comes off the spoon in thick, heavy plops, it is ready. If not, simmer for a few more minutes, then repeat the gel test.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the jam cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for immediate use, in the freezer to enjoy at a later date, or see the section on pantry jams to store in the pantry.