Tag Archives: pears

Low Sugar Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

Canning is generally a summer sport. Summer harvests mean you usually have to spend the hottest days of the year blanching fruit, stirring boiling pots, and having steam from a boiling water bath canner fill the kitchen with heat and humidity.

Do you ever wish that you could do your canning in the middle of the winter, when a little extra heat and humidity would be most welcome? I can’t get rid of all of that summer canning, but here is one recipe that is perfect to make on a cold, snowy day. And it will make your house smell truly heavenly.

Pears make a wonderful jam and are an easy fruit to work with any time of year. Most varieties have thin skins, so you don’t need to peel them, and you can chop them quickly in a food processor.  This jam is also flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, which makes it easy and amazingly delicious!

I use a combination of sugar and stevia to make a lower sugar jam that doesn’t compromise on flavor. You could add additional sugar if you don’t want to use the stevia.

And it’s not just for toast: try stirring it into some plain yogurt or spreading on some homemade pancakes for a delicious breakfast or snack.

RECIPE:

Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

Lower Sugar Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

8-10 ripe medium-sized pears (about 4 lb)
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1 box low-sugar pectin
½ tsp liquid stevia
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped; or 2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepare equipment: sterilize half-pint jars, lids, and canning equipment (ladle and funnel). Prepare a boiling water bath.

Wash and core the pears, but do not peel. Finely chop or coarsely mash to yield 7 cups fruit. (I use a food processor to finely chop/mash the pears). Stir in lemon juice.

In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the sugar with the box of pectin. Mix well and set aside.

In a large pot, combine the chopped pears, remaining 2 cups sugar, stevia, cinnamon and vanilla beans (both seeds and pods), if using. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium (maintain a low but continuous boil), and boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar/pectin mixture and vanilla extract, if using. Return jam to a full boil and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pods and discard.

Remove jam from heat and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Stir jam. Ladle hot jam into prepared jars. Wipe top edges of jars with a damp cloth. Add lids and rings. Place in a boiling bath canner and when pot has returned to a full boil, process jars for 10 minutes. Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on kitchen counter. Let sit for 24 hours. Check seals before placing on pantry shelf.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

NOTES:

  • Use thin-skinned pears like Bartlett, d’Anjou, or Comice
  • Stevia brands can vary in sweetness. Taste jam before adding pectin and adjust sugar to taste.
  • Use either the vanilla beans or the vanilla extract, not both
  • Letting the jam sit for a few minutes before ladling into jars helps to reduce foam and keep the fruit chunks from settling to the bottom of the jars.
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Pear Cardamom Bundt Cake with Lime Glaze

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I love the smells of fall baking. That combination of fruits like apples and pears with heavily fragrant cinnamon, cardamom and other spices. This recipe makes a highly adaptable batter that can be made into a bundt cake, quick-bread loaves, or muffins. Or if your bundt pan is on the small side, like mine, a combination of both cake and muffins. Breakfast and dessert all in one shot!

The lime glaze provides a tart, but sweet contrast to the fragrant fall flavors in the pear cake.

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I love cinnamon, but I don’t enjoy large amounts of nutmeg. Small amounts are fine, but I find that it can be very overpowering. One of my favorite fall spices to bake with is cardamom, and I will often swap out nutmeg in a recipe and replace it with cardamom. Cardamom is in the same family as ginger, but it is the seeds and pods that are ground and used for cooking, unlike the root with ginger. It is often used in Indian cooking, but is also a great compliment to cinnamon. It is a versatile spice that can be used in both sweet and savory cooking.

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The recipe below makes enough batter for a 12-cup bundt pan. My bundt pan only holds 10 cups, so I use the recipe to make 6 muffins (measure these out first) and the smaller bundt cake. Without the glaze, the muffins make a great breakfast, and they bake up light and airy.

The pears in this recipe are very finely chopped, or grated. I use a food processor to chop them finely. Pear skins are very thin, so I leave those on. They are not noticeable at all in the baked goods.

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RECIPE:

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Pear Cardamom Bundt Cake with Lime Glaze

Cake:
3 medium pears
about 1/2 cup buttermilk, milk or plain yogurt (see recipe for exact amount)
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Lime Glaze, recipe below (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour desired pans: one 12-cup bundt pan; one 10-cup bundt pan plus 6 muffin cups; 2 loaf pans; or 24 muffin cups.

Core pears. Finely chop or grate unpeeled pears (I use a food processor) and place in a 2-cup measuring cup. Use a fork to slightly mash the pears (you should have about 1 1/2 cups chopped, mashed pears). Add buttermilk to the pears to equal 2 cups. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in pear/buttermilk mixture.

In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom. Mix into pear batter just until combined. Fold in nuts. Pour batter into desired pans and bake as directed below.

FOR A 12 CUP BUNDT PAN: Bake for 50-60 minutes.

FOR A 10-CUP BUNDT PAN: First scoop batter into 6 muffin cups. Pour remaining batter into 10-cup bundt pan. Bake bundt for 35-45 minutes and muffins for 18-20 minutes.

FOR TWO LOAF PANS: Bake for 50-60 minutes.

FOR 24-26 MUFFINS: Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Lime Glaze (optional):
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs heavy cream
1 Tbs lime juice
zest of one lime

Combine all glaze ingredients and mix until smooth. Add additional lime juice or cream until glaze can be drizzled over cake. Cool cake or loaves completely before drizzling with glaze.

 

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