Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Spiced Pear Jam

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to day one of...

12 Recipes and Crafts
Inspired by the
12 Days of Christmas

Yes, Christmas is officially just around the corner, and to assist with the countdown I have assembled 12 recipes and crafts inspired by the different gifts in the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and I will be posting one a day.  Will Becca really be able to do 12 straight days of posting?  Will she come up with anything even remotely interesting for each day?  Will she stop referring to herself in the third person?  Only time will tell, dear readers, but I plan to try my darndest. 
To kick things off, here is day one's recipe, inspired by the partridge in a pear tree:  Spiced Pear Jam. 

Oh, how I love this jam.  I believe the recipe originated with my Aunt Jean, but all of my aunts, my grandma, and my mom have been known to make this excellent jam.  It is the taste of the holiday season to me, especially since we would eat it on scones for Christmas or New Year's breakfast.  I have never actually canned my own jam before, tending instead toward the easier freezer jams, but I wanted to try it this year so I could give jars away for Christmas gifts, so I borrowed my mom's canner and gave it a whirl.  And you know what?  It wasn't nearly as hard as I feared.  There's a whole section on canning in my Better Homes cookbook which helped me figure out the basics of canning, and you could also contact your local extension service for tips.  Really, you should give this recipe a try.  You won't be sorry.

Spiced Pear Jam
4 1/4 c. mashed pears
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. all-spice
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 pkg. Sure-Jell or 1/2 bottle Certo
7 1/2 c. sugar

Measure fruit into large pan.  Add lemon juice, pectin and spices.  Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Add sugar all at once and return to a boil, stirring continuously.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Skim.  Ladle into sterilized jars.  Seal with paraffin or process in boiling water bath for 5-10 minutes.

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