Pickled pears are a stylish treat, spooned out of the jar with little of the syrup. The perfect accompaniment to cheese and cold cuts on Christmas Day, or a lovely homemade gift. Recipe courtesy of our friends at Wasted Kitchen.
1 kg Pears – you want them to be reasonably hard so that they don’t disintegrate in the vinegar syrup
600ml Apple Cider Vinegar
300g Sugar – brown or white sugar can be used or replace some of the sugar with honey or maple syrup
Selection of spices and herbs – we used a cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, rosemary, orange zest
Lemon or orange juice – a squeeze
- Put the vinegar, sugar, spices and herbs into a pan and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Peel, core and halve or quarter pears (depending on their size) and pop them into a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice to stop them going brown. Tiny Bambinella pears can just be sliced in half and the core left. Conference pears are larger and can be quartered and the core removed.
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the fruit is prepared, place the fruit into the pan with the syrup and let them cook very gently for 10 – 15 minutes until they are tender when you put a fork or skewer into them.
- Transfer fruit to sterilised jars. To sterilise you can put them through the dishwasher or wash with warm soapy water and place in the oven at 160 degrees for five minutes.
- Leave the syrup in the pan and boil for five minutes to reduce it.
- Pour syrup with the spices over the pears so that it comes to the top of the jar and seal.
The pears are ready to eat straight away but taste even better after a couple of weeks. Store in a cool, dry, dark place and they should keep for at least six months. Once you’ve opened a jar keep it in the fridge.