Pear jam is a delicious way to preserve pears for year-round use. Packed with flavor, this homemade pear jam recipe makes a thick jam naturally without added pectin.
Homemade pear jam is an old-fashioned preserve, popular before commercial pectins became widely available. Unlike apples, which can be stored for months in a root cellar, pears are generally short-lived fruits. If left to ripen on the tree, they’ll actually begin to rot from the inside out. Generally, pears are picked a bit underripe and allowed to mature on the counter for a few weeks before eating fresh.
At harvest time, right as the slightly underripe pears were picked, a portion of the harvest would be diverted to pear preserves. That means better odds on eating the rest of the pears over the next month or two before they spoil. If you’re lucky, and conditions are right, a couple of fresh pears might make it to the holidays. If not, there’s always pear jam…
This simple pear preserve has just three ingredients: pears (preferably a bit underripe), sugar, and lemon juice.
Choosing Pears for Pear Jam
While there are only a few varieties of pears available in the grocery store these days, there are literally thousands of varieties of pears. Heirloom apples are making a comeback and finding their way into local food coops, and I think it’s just a matter of time before the slow food revolution revitalizes pears. If you’re curious about historical and modern pear varieties, I’d highly recommend reading The Book of Pears: The Definitive History and Guide to Over 500 Varieties.
As far as modern varieties go, according to the PennState Agricultural Extension, “Recommended varieties for preservation include Bartlett, Bosc, Anjou, and Comice. Keiffer is acceptable, and Seckel pears are suitable for pickled and spiced products.”
I’m using Bartlett pears, which have firm flesh and excellent flavor. Select pears that are ever so slightly underripe or just barely ripe for pear jam.
Preparing Pears for Jam
The trick to making pear jam is all in the preparation. If not properly prepared, the pears will just quickly turn into pear sauce in the jam pot.
Start by peeling and coring the pears, then coarsely chop the fruit. I started with rather large pieces, assuming that they’d fall apart a little during cooking. That actually didn’t happen, and they held their shape beautifully. Since the original pieces were so large, I actually ended up using a potato masher to break them up a bit.
Chop the pears to whatever size you like based on your preference, but keep in mind that the pear chunks will retain their shape and size in the finished pear jam unless you crush them during cooking.
Coat the pear chunks in a bit of lemon juice as you work, to prevent oxidation and to add a bit of extra pectin. Lemons are rich in pectin, and most commercial pectin varieties are actually made from citrus. This is optional but will help the pear jam gel during cooking.
The next step is by far the most important…so pay attention here! The pear chunks must be macerated in sugar for 12 to 24 hours before cooking. If you’re crunched for time, the absolute minimum is 4 hours, but more time is strongly recommended.
This draws out liquid from the pears, which will be the “gel” portion of the finished jam. It also works to firm up the pear flesh as they infuse with sugar, meaning they’ll hold their shape as pear chunks in the finished jam (instead of turning to pear sauce).
If you skip this step, all you’ll have is a very sugary pear sauce. Not bad really, all things considered, but not really a pear jam. When you add the sugar to the lemon juice coated pear slices, it’s going to look a bit absurd. There’s so much sugar on those little pear chunks, but that’s what’s going to allow them to candy a bit into a jam rather than a sauce.
My recipe for pear jam uses 2 to 3 cups of sugar for 4lbs of pears (weighed before peeling/coring). Others use as much as 4 cups of sugar to 3lbs of fruit, which I found to be pretty over the top. I made it that way, and I’d say it was more of a candy than a jam. Adjust to your tastes, knowing that you do need a good bit of sugar to make this work, at least 1/2 cup per pound of fruit or up to 1 1/3 cups sugar per pound of fruit for a very sweet pear preserve.
Give it time, they’ll draw out the liquid and create a rich syrup around the pear chunks. I use the same technique to make a strawberry rhubarb jam (both low pectin fruits) without added pectin and it works wonders.
Place the sugar covered pear chunks in the fridge overnight and give the sugar time to work its magic.
Making Pear Jam
Once the pear chunks have macerated overnight in the refrigerator, you should have pear cubes floating in a sugar syrup made from their own juices. All, or almost all of the sugar should be dissolved, and the pear chunks should be very firm.
Place everything into a deep, heavy-bottomed jam pot allowing extra space at the top because the jam will foam up during cooking. Bring the pot to a hard boil over high heat, and then turn it down slightly and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pieces are too big for your liking, mash everything gently with a spoon or potato masher.
At this point, the jam should have thickened considerably and is nearing gel stage. If you’re an experienced canner, you know what this looks like. The bubbles will visibly change and become more glossy. There are a couple of ways to test this jam to see if it’s done.
The easiest and most foolproof is an instant-read thermometer. Gel stage is 220 degrees F at sea level, and a bit below that at higher elevations. The finished temperature drops by 1 degree for every 500 feet above sea level. I’m at 1000 feet, so my jams finish at 218 F.
Lacking an instant-read thermometer, spoon out a bit of the jam syrup and blow it to cool it quickly. Then slowly pour it back into the pot. If it’s done, the jam should “sheet” off the spoon rather than drip. You can also test the jam on a small plate that’s been put in the freezer. It should set quickly on the cold plate, and it should wrinkle back if pushed with a finger.
Once the jam is done, immediately remove it from the heat and get it into jars.
Canning Pear Jam
Canning is completely optional, and it’s fine to just fill the jars and store them in the refrigerator for immediate use (or the freezer for later). Since we live off-grid with minimal freezer space, canning is the best option for my family and it’s really easy anyway. Even if I lived in the suburbs, I’d still opt to can this pear jam for a shelf-stable preserve or for an easy holiday gift.
If canning, make sure you prepare a water bath canner before you start cooking the jam. That just means fill a deep pot with water and bring it to a boil.
Then, once the jam is done, fill clean jars leaving just 1/4 inch headspace. Run a plastic or silicone spatula (not metal, it can conduct heat and crack the jars) along the inside to remove bubbles and then adjust the headspace again, ensuring it’s still 1/4 inch.
Wipe the rims and seal the jars with two-part canning lids, tightening them to just finger tight. Process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes before removing them (this helps prevent siphoning due to rapid temperature changes).
Remove the jars to a towel on the counter, and allow them to sit undisturbed to cool. Within an hour or two, sometimes much faster, the jars will “ping” as they vacuum seal. After 24 hours, check seals and store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator for immediate use.
At this point, if properly canned, the pear jam should be completely sealed and shelf-stable. Ball canning now says it warrants the seal on their jars for 18 months, but in practice, I’ve kept jams longer than that without issue. Still, for best quality, it’s a good idea to rotate your stock and try to eat everything within 1 year.
Pear Jam Recipe Variations
While I’ve used a simple failsafe pear jam recipe with just three ingredients (pears, sugar, and lemon), it can easily be adapted to include seasonings, other fruits or alternate sweeteners. I think this recipe would actually work out really well with maple sugar, and it’s just dying for a pinch of cardamom, ginger, or a scraping of vanilla bean added just at the finish.
- With Green Cardamom ~ Food and wine has a recipe that’s very similar to this one, again with no pectin, but with a lot more sugar. They add a tablespoon of honey (not that you’ll taste it with all the other sugar?) and a teaspoon of green cardamom pods in a tea ball to infuse during cooking. A pinch of powdered cardamom would work too, and be a bit cleaner.
- With Vanilla ~ Food in jars has a recipe that’s also quite similar, again with a good bit of sugar, she also adds liquid pectin. I avoid liquid pectin on principle because it contains chemical preservatives (sodium benzoate, etc) that I don’t want in my jam. It’s also not necessary when working with a high-pectin fruit like pears. She doesn’t peel the pears, which is a labor saver, and the jam looks spectacular. The addition of two scraped vanilla beans is a delectable idea though.
- With Cranberries ~ Another one from Food in Jars, this variation adds cranberries, eliminates the pectin and dramatically reduces the sugar. Cranberries are very high in pectin, and they help the jam set up nicely. Interesting to note though, that when adding a very tart fruit, this recipe ends up using half the sugar of her first recipe with vanilla.
- No Sugar Recipe with Spices ~ Serious eats has an interesting take, and they manage to make a pear jam without refined sugar. Instead, they use 2 cups fruit juice concentrate, along with a no sugar added pectin (such as Pomona’s Universal Pectin). Without the sugar, adding pectin is totally justified and their jam looks chunky and beautiful, and also adds in some vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom.
- With Ginger ~ From the vegetarian times, this recipe is again very similar to mine, but adds 2 tsp fresh grated ginger. They also suggest adding 1 tsp powdered pectin, optionally, but that’s not usually how pectin comes. I’m assuming they’re using ball flex batch pectin which comes in a big tub, and can be dolled out in teaspoons at a time (rather than packets).
- With Blueberries ~ A very low-sugar recipe from Common Sense Home, using 3 parts pears and 1 part blueberries. The addition of Pomona’s pectin allows this jam to gel and stay a proper jam even with minimal sugar.
This simple pear jam recipe has just a few ingredients and a lot of flavor! Pears are full of pectin, so it's easy for beginners to make this no pectin preserve.
- 4 lbs Pears
- 2 to 4 cups Sugar (see note)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1. Peel, core and dice pears. (Be sure to chop the pears relatively small, as they'll remain close to that size in the finished jam.)
- 2. Toss the pears in lemon juice and sugar, cover and refrigerate for overnight (12 to 24 hours). This step is important, and at an absolute minimum, they need 4 hours, preferably more.
- 3. Prepare a water bath canner (if canning, skip for a freezer jam).
- 4. Place pear mixture into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil on high. The mixture will foam, so be sure your pan is big enough to handle foaming to avoid overflows.
- 5. Stir the mixture occasionally, watching for overflows, and cook for about 10-15 minutes. If pear pieces are too large, crush slightly with a potato masher (optional).
- 6. Cook until the pear jam reaches gel stage, using an instant-read thermometer or testing a small amount on a plate placed in the freezer. (Gel stage is 220 degrees F at sea level and a bit below that at higher elevations. The finished temperature drops by 1 degree for every 500 feet above sea level. I'm at 1000 feet, so my jams finish at 218 F.)
- 7. Once the jam reaches gel stage, immediately remove it from the heat and pack it into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace, sealing with 2 part canning lids.
- 8. Store the pear jam in the refrigerator for immediate use, or process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes. Turn off the canner and allow the jars to sit an additional 5 minutes before removing them to a towel on the counter. Check for seals after a few hours, and store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator.
- Canned pear jam should last 18 months or more at room temperature if properly sealed (refrigerate after opening) Refrigerated jam should last at least 2-3 weeks.
A note on sugar ~
Traditional pear jam recipes include a lot of sugar, around 1 cup of sugar per pound of fruit (before peeling/coring). I tried it that way, and it was way too sweet for my tastes.
I tend to like lower sugar jams, and with 2 cups of sugar it's still very sweet but with better flavor, in my opinion. If you like traditional high sugar jams, go with the full 4 cups (and get a slightly higher yield) but I'd strongly suggest reducing it down to 2 or 3 cups. The jam will still gel just fine either way.
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Other Fun Fall Canning Recipes
Looking for more canning recipes to preserve the fall harvest? Try any of these delicious preserves featuring fall produce:
Fall Preserves Without Canning
Done in the canning kitchen for the season? No worries, there’s plenty of other ways to preserve fall produce:
- Pear Cider
- Hard Apple Cider
- Extracting Sugar from Apples for Apple Sugar
- Pumpkin Powder (Pumpkin Flour)
- Pumpkin Puree
I just wanted to thank you for this lovely recipe! 🙂 I’ve made pear jam for years but I hadn’t yet learned the trick, re: macerating the pears prior to cooking them. This makes such a huge difference! Thank you for this! I look forward to reading more of your recipes and seeing what else I can learn from you. Wishing you all the best 🙂
Wonderful, so glad it helped!
Can I use the “sand pears” that are so abundant here in Florida? They are not usually eaten raw, but I make pies with them all the time.
I am not familiar with “sand pears”. I did do a little research and my understanding is that they are classified as an asian pear. These should work just fine for the jam. The only concern with Asian pears and canning is achieving the proper acidity for water bath canning since they are a low acid fruit. This recipe however has enough acid to safely can them. You need about 1 tablespoon per pint and this recipe has nearly that much in just a half pint.
Many thanks for your advice on the sugar coating of the 🍐 pears before cooking
I have canned whole life but did know this very important info. I do the farmers market so my customers will be thrilled with my new product. Thanks so much.
Can I use asian pears?
Here is an article that Ashley did on canning Asian pears. https://practicalselfreliance.com/canning-asian-pears/
So, unfortunately, I only saw your recipe after making pear jam after I’d already made another recipe. It turned out way too sweet and I’m not sure what to do now to sweeten it down. Any advice?
I will be sure to follow your recipe next time I make the jam 🙂
A couple of options, depending on how much you made…
To save the jam though, and still have it on toast…I’d pull it all out of the jars and put it back in the jam pot. Add in another fruit, preferably a pretty tart fruit. This time of year that’s tricky, and depending on where you live there may not be a lot available. I’d mix it with a bunch of raspberries maybe? Even frozen ones? And then re-cook it until it reaches gel stage, without adding any more sugar. That’ll help balance out the sugar.
Beyond that, you can also just get creative in how you use it.
Use it in places where you can have a lot of sweet, like jam thumbprint cookies. Lower the sugar in the cookies themselves pretty dramatically, and then the really sweet jam will balance nicely.
Use it to glaze meat or in marinades, with a lot of other ingredients. Generally, there’s vinegar which will dilute it out in those recipes, just skip the sugar they already add.
I made this recipe and it didn’t gel for me at all. I tested it several times on a cold plate, zilch. I finally added some pectin and put it in jars and processed it. Not sure yet how it will turn out as the jars are still hot. I don’t know what went wrong.
Hmm…it’s possible different types of pears have different amounts of pectin and maybe that’s the issue? Mine gelled really firmly, and there was no need to add pectin.
How many half pints does this yield?
Hi Daniel. This will make 4-5 half pint jars.
VICTORIA J BOZARD
How long should I WB process if I use pint jars?
5 minutes is plenty.
Do the pears turn brown over nighter in the fridge? If so what’s a trick to not get them brown?
If you coat them in lemon juice as stated in the post, you shouldn’t have any issues with them turning brown.
If you put a couple tablespoons of lemon juice in the water and put the fruit in there they will not turn brown
Just made some jam – brilliant – I wasn’t sure what macerated meant (I’m into UK) so I soaked the peeled and diced pears with the juice of a lemon for about 10 hours – the best jam everv- thank you
You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
My mother always used paraffin to seal her jelly jars. Would this work for your recipe? If so when would I seal the jars?
Many food preservation practices that were used by our mothers and grandmothers are no longer recommended. Using paraffin to seal jelly is not considered a safe practice. It does not remove the air from the jar and it can often separate from the sides of the jar allowing bacteria in.
I did the peach perserves and we love the taste. Could I do pears the same as peaches? I used a hand blender with peaches to make a peach butter, I blended next to last cooking.
As a working single mom with little bits of random time, I am wondering if it would be ok to leave the sugary pears sitting for closer to 40 hours?
Hi Liz. I don’t think it would be an issue to leave them for a bit longer. If you try it, let us know how it works out.
Can I freeze this jam?
Sorry, did not read the recipe completely. Saw that I could freeze instead of canning.
How do I freeze jam instead of canning ?
You can freeze it in glass or plastic. If you decide to use glass, you want to be sure to allow for at least 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion. It is often recommended to use straight-sided jars as well.
Welp I made the pear jam today and spiced it with cardamom. It is absolutely delicious! I followed everything exact including the maceration process but used 2-3/4 cups of sugar and ground up 3 cardamom pods which I added just before jarring up. I ended up with 4 full jars that I water canned and 3/4ths of a half pint jar which I immediately used on some multi-grained buttered toast. It was ridiculous good. Give it a try!
That sounds really lovely.
If I add cranberries, how much for 2 lbs of pears and do i lower the sugar from 1 cup? Do i still add lemon juice?
You can do 1 part cranberries, 3 parts pears and 2 parts sugar and still add the lemon juice.
Hi, your pear jam recipe sounds wonderful and I am keen to try it with my conference pears which are just coming to ripeness. However, I am really foxed by the small amount of sugar you used. I always reduce the sugar content in all my jams but is it really cups (i.e. 200 grams of sugar) for 4 lbs of pears. Sorry, I am in the UK so using metric. I don’t know if you are still taking questions/comments but thought I would try! Thanks
You can use anywhere from 2 to 4 cups of sugar. A lot of jam recipes call for 1 cup (200g) per pound of fruit but you can reduce that amount by half and still get it to gel up fine.
Made the jam as directed, with 24 hr maceration time, and 1/2 cup sugar/cup of fruit, lemon, etc.
The jam didn’t set! I reheated it assuming I’d not gotten it hot enough since we live at 2500ft. No go.
I gave up, added an additional cup of sugar, 3 Tabsp of lemon and pectin- heated it to a rolling boil for 1 minute…Viola!
Beautiful amber colored chunky jam… worth the extra step, though still not sure what happened!
So glad it worked out for you.
Best large batch pear recipe I have found yet. I never thought to sugar brine overnight the pears and I immediately taste the difference between a great pear jam vs. sugar with pears in it.
Awesome, Amanda. I’m ao glad you liked it!
The recipe reads “sugar”. I’m new to this so please can you confirm what type of sugar to use – granulated, caster, jam sugar? It’s a lot to waste if it goes wrong. Thank you.
That’s just regular granulated sugar.
I discovered an overgrown pear tree on my property and have harvested a ton of Bartlett pears! However, bc the tree is overgrown, the fruit is small. I don’t have a scale, either. I was wondering if you could estimate how many cups of chopped pears I’d need for the recipe? I’m assuming about 4 cups?
1 pound of pears should give you about 2 cups sliced. I can’t seem to find anything specifically for a diced measurement but this should give you a general idea.
I am in the process of making this with asian pears (I have a tree). I squeezed one lemon onto about 2 cups of chopped pears. it’s swimming in lemon juice. I added the sugar anyway but am thinking this is not going to work? Should I discard and not bother cooking?
How much lemon juice? And could you give ratios of sugar to pears based on cups of pears not pounds? Thank you.
Here is an article that deals specifically with canning asian pears. https://practicalselfreliance.com/canning-asian-pears/ I would use the recommendations her for the amount of lemon juice. 1 pound of pears will give you about 2 cups sliced so that should give you a general idea of how many cups.
Could I freeze the pears first, before making the jam? I do with berries and stone fruit but I’ve never made a pear jam before. If so, would you do it with the sugar and lemon or before that step?
I would probably freeze the pears alone and add the other ingredients when I’m ready to make the jam.
This looks so good! I love this simple recipe to help you enjoy the pears for longer!
Wonderful, glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
If canned, it should keep over a year. In the fridge, I’d guess at least 2 weeks, likely much longer though.
Can I substitute honey for the sugar and get the same results?
You can absolutely substitute honey for sugar in jam recipes. I don’t know if you can say that you will get the same result but it can be done. I personally prefer not to use honey in something that is cooked like this though because much of your beneficial properties of the honey will be lost in the cooking process.
Can this recipe be tripled so that I don’t have to make a bunch of small batches?
It isn’t normally recommended to double or triple jam batches. This can affect the cook time on the jam.
This looks wonderful! I’m excited to try this recipe, but am going to try and incorporate an elderflower flavor. Do you think I could macerate the pears in a liquid elderflower syrup during the overnight maceration, or does the sugar need to be in solid form? Thanks so much!
I am not sure that the maceration process would work the same with a syrup.
I like your recipe. As a kid, I did not like jam –too sweet. I used apple jelly. The overnight maceration is brilliant! The comments were very helpful –in case something went wrong. I will start at 2 cups of sugar and see where it takes me, and I will let you know. ❤️
That sounds great! Can’t wait to see how it turns out for you.
I would like to make this using pink peppercorns rather than cardamom, Do you think the peppercorn amount would be about the same as the cardamom?
I’d think a pinch of pink pepper would be lovely, let me know how it turns out!
I’ve made this twice and it gets better every time! Now I have 4lb of Honeycrisp apples. Can I just swap them in for the pears and follow the same steps?
I’ve got you covered: https://practicalselfreliance.com/apple-jam/
Thank you this worked out beautifully and really captures the “perfume” of the pear.
I made this with ripe beurre bosc & semi-ripe packham pears and still turned out with nice pieces.
The overnight maceration is a stroke of genius!
So glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe.
My fridge is small so often full. Can I leave the pears in sugar “on the side” overnight. Is there any reason for putting in the fridge?
I would be very hesitant to leave it sitting on the counter overnight for food safety reasons. Most recipes advise that this be done in the fridge.
I live off grid, and at times don’t have access to granulated sugar. I do have other forms of sugar from my own homestead and neighbors, namely honey and maple syrup. Taste aside, could I substitute those sugars to achieve the same result (adjusted for amount)?
The maple syrup would be especially lovely in regards to flavor. If you choose to omit the sugar, you would need to add a low sugar pectin like Pomona’s in order to get a good gel.
Thank you for the step by step process and all the info in this recipe! This was my first time making jam/canning and it was successful! I’m wondering you you know how much weight in pears you use AFTER you’ve peeled and cored them? I am using little pears that are growing on a tree in my yard, and although I weighed them prior to and added some extra assuming it would turn out to be less than full sizes pears would give, and used half of the amount of sugar as you recommended, they still are a bit sweet for my liking. I’m wondering if this is because of the size/weight of the pears to start.
The fruit is weighed before they are peeled and cored. This recipe is made with pears that are a bit underripe so if your pears were fully ripe, that will increase the sweetness. The type of pear used will also impact the flavor as some pear varieties are sweeter than others. You can adjust the sugar amount to your tastes but you really need at least a half cup of sugar per pound of fruit to make it set properly.
Hello Ashley, Thanks for the great recipe and instructions! I made the jam from the forelle pears that are the kind on the tree in our yard. I hadn’t heard of this jam until I saw a little few lines in the Backwoods Home magazine’s promo things so I looked up the recipe. I had no trouble with making it though it took about 15 minutes to get to 220F. My pears were pretty juicy and more on the ripe side. Of course I had more than 4 pounds of pears on my tree and this year they were in good condition. So I looked in my 1930’s cookbook that is the family book, and found a recipe for pear conserves. (The book is called The Woman’s Home Companion and has some really great recipes in it.) What are they exactly? I wondered. They are like jam but have added ingredients like dried fruit or nuts. But what do you do with them? … I googled it. Anyway, I just finished making it and man oh man is it tasty. I thought you might like the recipe:
4 pounds of very firm pears
4 pounds of sugar
2 cups of seedless raisins (I used dried currants)
2 TBSP orange zest
1 cup of orange juice
6 TBSP lemon juice
3/4 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Peel,core, and slice the pears layering them with the sugar in a large kettle. Set overnight.
Add the currants or raisins, the orange zest and juice and lemon juice, plus the spices.
Cook until pears are tender and syrup is thick- about 15 minutes to 220F.
Ladle into hot clean jars with 1/4″ headspace.
Adjust lids and rings. Water bath can as you did your pear jam: 5 minutes, cool in pot 5 minutes, remove.
This made 10 1/2 pint jars.
This stuff tastes terrific and I think it would be good between the layers of ginger cake, on pumpkin bread, in muffins, mixed into yoghurt, and so on. The original recipe didn’t call for the spices but I thought it would be good. If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it!
I am so glad you enjoyed the jam recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe for the pear conserves. It sounds delicious.
I just wanted to thank you for sharing your recipes and knowledge. We harvested Bosch pears from a very productive local tree and have used the fruit to make your pear jam, cardamom pear jam, cranberry pear jam, lemon pear marmalade and pear jelly. Lots of it, too. All the recipes were flawless, Everything is delicious. We’re so happy to have found you and we’re enjoying your emails!
You’re very welcome. So glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog.
Thank you for your recipe. Can I use Organic cane sugar instead of regular white sugar to make this jam(s)?
Yes, that should work just fine.
Can I substitute some of the sugar for honey?
You could definitely use honey instead but you would probably want to add a low sugar pectin like Pomona’s Pectin to get a good gel.
Can this be doubled?
Yes. You should be able to double this recipe without any issues with it setting, but I wouldn’t increase the recipe more than double. Bigger than double and it won’t heat evenly in the pan.
It does bubble up quite a bit during cooking, so be sure you have a large pan to accommodate the batch so that it’s no more than 1/3 to half way up the sides when you start.
I successfully make jam for the first time with this recipe! I didn’t follow the measurement and sub the lemon juice for orange but followed all the directions and it works fine! Although I have to cook it for 40-50 min before it reached a jelly-like state.
When I read this recipe it sounded familiar. I pulled out the strawberry preserve recipe I was given 40 years ago by my extension home economist in Ohio and it’s very similar. I’ve been macerating strawberries for four decades but I didn’t know that is what it’s called. I wanted to make pear preserves because my husband fondly remembers eating his Missouri grandmother’s pear preserves. He says this recipe works just fine!
My pears are macerating now. Tomorrow I’ll be adding 5 peaches to the mix and then follow your instructions to the letter. I am so excited. My neighbor has a huge Bartlett tree and if this works out we will be doing this fruit justice. I am a home canner with lots of experience, but your tip for macerating is golden. Thank you!
You’re welcome. So glad you enjoyed it.
Susan L Befus
You mention freezing this pear jam. I am considering this as I dont have a canner. What do you place the jam in to freeze it? Glass, plastic…..
You can use glass or plastic. If you’re using glass it’s best to leave the lid off until it is frozen and use a jar with straight sides to prevent breakage. I believe there are also jars made specifically for freezing as well.
Great recipe! I left it on the counter overnight rather than in the fridge and I think it helped the flavor pull through. I added jalapeno to half the batch and it is wonderful!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
After all of this work.. And by the way I make jam every year since childhood .
It is runny and I am so disappointed. Use Certo and it will always gell.
I’m sorry that you had trouble with it. You can certainly use Certo if you wish but some people prefer not to use added pectin whenever possible.
Would it be okay to use an immersion blender after the overnight refrigeration and prior to cooking? I think I would prefer it without the pear chunks.
Yes, that should work just fine.
I made this as a double recipe. Used about five cups of sugar total and it was still quite sweet. No pectin and it did not really gel at all using my homegrown pears. I cooked in three vanilla beans as the jam was heating up and added two shots of dark rum. I canned it following the instructions here in half-pint jars. Flavor is absolutely sublime, I wish I had added some pectin because it’s more like applesauce than jam but that’s the only change I would make.
I’m sorry that it didn’t set for you but it was probably caused by doubling the recipe. It typically isn’t recommended to double a jam recipe. This often causes the jam to cook differently than a single batch and most people often have trouble with it setting up.
Fresh lemon juice or bottled?
You should always use bottled lemon juice if you plan to can it to be shelf-stable. This will ensure that you have the correct acidity.
Hi! I scanned the comments but didn’t see anyone ask, can I replace pears with apples on this recipe since they are high in pectin also? Thanks!
We actually have an apple jam recipe here. https://practicalselfreliance.com/apple-jam/ It is a very similar recipe and process.
First time making pear jam and it was very easy to follow. I am so glad I did the two cups of sugar VS the 4. It is sugary enough with the two for sure! Excited to use this jam. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
You’re very welcome. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Well done! Very explanatory and correct, too! I’ve been canning since I was a little kid with my mother. I’m now 67 and find your information to be extremely helpful—even to us old-timers. Thanks a bunch!
That really means a lot. Thank you so much.
This sounded so great but I only managed to produce pear juice with chunks… Left the pears with sugar and lemon juice in fridge as recommended for 30 hours and then boiled the lot. No jam after 20 minutes so I cooked for much longer but it never set.
Your pieces of pear may have been a little large. They won’t fall apart in the pot like you might expect. We used a potato masher to get them to the proper consistency for our jam. They will retain their shape in the final jam.