Gingered Pear Jam
I can eat this straight from the jar! To save time, use a food processor fitted with a shredding disc to chop the pears.
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole cloves
6 cups peeled, cored and chopped pears
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
Prepare the preserving jars. Put the cinnamon stick and cloves into a cheesecloth bag and tie the top with string.
Combine the pears and lemon juice in your preserving pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add the cheesecloth bag of spices and the sugar and ginger. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Be careful, as the jam may tend to stick to the bottom of the pot towards the end of the cooking time. Test for set if desired.
Remove from the heat and discard the spice bag. Stir the jam and skim off the foam if necessary. Ladle the jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to manufacturer's directions. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Cloves are the dried, unopened floral buds of a tropical evergreen tree that is a member of the myrtle family. The highly aromatic, spicy-sweet flavor of cloves is indispensable in many varieties of preserves. Whole cloves resemble small tacks. They have a biting sharp flavor; use them sparingly to avoid overwhelming other tastes. Whole cloves are always removed after cooking. Ground cloves are less pungent than whole cloves.