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pears, pears and more pears.. wonderful pear honey!

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

I'm going to run a batch of pear slices through the dehydrator today. I'll add some of the pear chunks from the honey batch and see how they do... I'll let you know.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I found this in my recipe file from 2004... similar to the above recipe but keeps the fruit in the honey.

Disappearing Pear Honey

4 pounds peeled, cored, minced pears
4 pounds sugar
1 pound honey
20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 whole lemon, seeded

Purée lemon in food processor. Mix all ingredients together in a large stockpot. Cook on medium heat until thick. Pour into pint jars and process 10 minutes in a water bath.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Darius, do the pears disappear (dissolve) into the syrup, or is it "disappearing" because it's so good and just gets eaten up?

Can you believe I am still waiting for those pears to ripen! Bit by bit, they change a little in the fridge... sheesh. Next year they are staying on the tree longer!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Disappearing because it's so good! (So the recipe says...)

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Thanks for clarifying that! :-)

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

The pears do dissolve quite a bit in the long cooking down process.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Critter you still got them things in the fridge ? lol
i wish i had pears , all mine are canned .:(
i got the last of the golden delicious apples of the season from our local orchard. Got a half bushel . that should get us through Jan LOLLL
darius that reciepe does sound wonderful.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Can you believe it?? They're taking up the whole top shelf. I'm eating one right now, and it has sweetened up (delicious) and softened the tiniest bit, so hopefully I can do something with them soon now. They've been in storage so long their skins have toughened a little due to dehydration, so peeling them should be "fun."

Taynors, with all those pears from your neighbor, I'll bet you have a lot of jars put up! Did you try one of the recipes on this thread? I think I may try that 3 day method, to keep the pear pieces more intact. LOL, that might require more planning than I can manage... :-)

Has anybody used a thermometer to determine the "jell point" for these?

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Critter a jell point is usually 240 ? which is a soft ball consistency but i can double check on that.
here we go
hope it helps
Thread 230 F
Soft ball 240 F
Firm ball 245 F
hard ball 250 -260 F
Small crack 265-270 F
Crack 275-280 f
so the higher the temp obviously the harder and then you have caramel stage
I think Thread is what would be a good syrup ?
I got about 8 qts and 6 pints of canned pears . I didn't do any recipes on the thread . I didn't find the thread until it was to late :(
next season though i shall be prepared
can you put the pears in a brown bag in a closet to ripen overnight ?

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Critter, I didn't use a thermometer with the pear honey and wish now I had... I will next year!

I put the strained pears from the pear honey in the dehydrator for a couple of days. They didn't shrink down like fruit usually does (saturated with sugar, I guess), but they dried out fairly well. The pieces still wanted to stick together some, so I lightly dusted them with powdered sugar (could have used cornstarch, maybe). I'm storing them in the freezer... finished up with about a quart. They have a fantastic taste!!! I see no problem using them in cakes and sweet breads.

I will definitely do the "pear honey - glace' pears" procedure again next year! I like recipes that have a dual utility like this one.

Kelly, Thanks again for the recipe!

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

The Ball canning book says that the jelling point is 8 degrees over whatever the boiling point is for your altitude. I couldn't get the pot to boil any hotter than 215 degrees for the autumn olives I put up. They finally thickened up a good bit (after they were canned and on the shelf for a week), but not as thick as I would have liked for jam.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Just got mine in the canner 2 minutes ago. Only 5 half pints, all with some pear pieces in them... I'll use them primarily on ice cream or pancakes. The rest of the pear pieces are in the dehydrator.

Bev, I cooked mine down in a 350º oven... got it nice and thick.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

I didn't think of cooking down the pear honey in the oven! Good idea... no pot watching, lol!

St. Helens, OR(Zone 8b)

I have a cranberry-cardamom jam that's made in the oven and also a strawberry jam. No muss, no fuss and it really preserves the shape of the fruit.


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Post the cranberry-cardamom recipe, please?

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

yes, please do post the recipe!!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

in the oven ? really ? wow. So when put in the oven it will still cook down ? ooohhhhh will have to try that one. No muss no fuss is my middle name in cooking. LOL
Bev what you have is candied pears. They will feel tacky but air dry and they are wonderful little treats to top cakes and use in other baking reciepes , like muffins !!!
how long where they in the dehydrator ? maybe they needed a longer time ?
oh i just love candied fruits !

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

The candied/glace' pears were in the dehydrator for 2 days. I turned them a few times while drying, but the little bits that were still sticky were resting on the mesh. They weren't reducing down and 95% of the exterior was dry, so I thought they'd had enough, I had, lol. The powdered sugar was to keep them from clumping in a big ball while storing in the freezer... probably wasn't necessary.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

I can never tell when mine are done either. LOLLLLL i would have thunk two days would be good.
I bet they will be great !!! . and if all else fails , chop them up in little pieces and sprinkle in muffin batter. yummo

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Those pears do sound good! Thanks for the temperature tips -- I was thinking "soft ball" (have a candy thermometer) but wasn't quite sure. Ball's rule of thumb would put it more at the "thread" stage (212 plus 8 at sea level), so maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I go by what it looks/feels like, but I think I'd be more confident using a thermometer to tell me when I was in the ballpark.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Ooooh, muffins with pear parts sounds good, yummmy! Now I have to find a good muffin recipe.

I'm also waiting for that oven cooked cranberry-cardamom and/or the strawberry jam recipe!! That sounds sooo very good! Plus, I'd like to see if I could use it for some other things.

St. Helens, OR(Zone 8b)

I'll come back later and post those recipes. I have to dig them out. You know what that's like.

The jell point is 220 degrees (at sea level). Down at 218 is syrup and for a firmer set you can go up to 221.

Basically it's the point at which enough water has been evaporated off that the preserve is 65-68% sugar. (I know, scary isn't it?) At that point the pectin+sugar+acid bonds to form a jell (i.e. set). Of course, that assumes everything's in the right ratio.

It's also why old-timers who preserved without commercial pectin used 25% underripe fruit. As fruit ripens the cell walls collapse and the pectin levels go down.

But some preserves you could cook to that point or higher and all you get is a kind of viscous caramel-y "taffy." If the fruit is low-pectin and there isn't commercial pectin or a homemade pectin base to compensate, it never really "jells." It just gets thicker until you could set tiles with it.

With traditional preserves sometimes it's better for flavor to accept a softer set. Sour cherry preserves are a good example. Pears are another. So it drips. So what.


none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Critter I usualy go by look and feel also.
Good to know Carol , i remember reading that about the under ripe fruits .
caramel stage is more for sugar making stuff , I remember making nugget in school it had to be on the caramel stage . Talk about hot on the skin !!!!

St. Helens, OR(Zone 8b)

I once melted an Exoglas spoon making candy. Supposedly good up to 450 degrees but I'm watching the bowl start to go limp in the pan.

OK, here’s the strawberry jam recipe; I've only used lemon juice so can't speak for the balsamic in this. It's actually an oven version of a sun-cooked jam (not that I'd know about that in Oregon):

Elegant Oven Strawberry Jam
Categories : Canning & Preserving Jams & Jellies
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
8 cups halved or quartered strawberries -- (cleaned and de-stemmed) (2 L)
4 cups granulated sugar -- (1 L)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or lemon juice -- (50 mL)

Combine berries and sugar in a large stainless or enamel pan. Let stand for 2 hours, stirring several times.

Add vinegar or lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Pour into two 13 x 9-inch (3.5 L) glass baking dishes and place in a convection or standard oven at 150°F (65°C). Bake until mixture is thickened and will form a gel, about 3 hours for convection and 10 hours for standard, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a BWB 5 minutes (or hot clean jars for 10 minutes).
Description: from "Small Batch Preserving" by Ellie Topp, p. 25.
Yield: 4 cups

And the cranberry preserves:

"Baked Cranberry Preserves with Orange and Cardamom"

To make about 3 cups of preserves...

Preheat the oven to 350F. Gather

4 cups firm, fresh cranberries
1 medium-size seedless orange
3 cups sugar
1/8 tsp ground cardamom (freshly ground preferred)
1/4 cup water

Spread the cranberries in an 8-inch square glass baking pan.

Zest the entire orange; remove the peel and discard; finely chop the pulp.

Mix together the chopped orange and zest, sugar, and ground cardamom. Add this mixture to the cranberries and mix thoroughly -- but if the pan is too shallow to do this, leave the mixing until the second baking stage. Sprinkle with the water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325F, uncover the dish, stir the fruit into the liquid that has formed (a large slotted spoon or pancake turner works well), and continue baking the preserves uncovered, stirring gently every 15 minutes or so, until the berries are translucent, about 45 minutes more. Don't worry that the liquid is not particularly thick; it's not important.

You may can the preserves (10 minutes boiling water bath) or just spoon them into hot, clean containers, let them cool, label, and refrigerate for up to several months.
From Helen Witty’s “Fancy Pantry,” p. 126

Something to be aware of with either of these recipes. You’re gently evaporating out the water which helps the fruit retain its shape, but because the mixture never reaches a boil, a thermometer is no help at all in determining the jell point. It’s really easy to end up with too stiff a mixture. Use the chilled plate test or when the preserve appears near the desired thickness, remove from the oven and refrigerate. When it’s chilled you’ll know exactly what the consistency of the finished product will be.


(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Carol, Thank you very much for the recipes! I'm going to try one of them as soon as I can gather up the ingredients.

Have you used the oven jam making process on any other fruits?

St. Helens, OR(Zone 8b)

No I haven't, but only because I have so many preserves on the shelf there just wasn't any sense in making more.

I thought at the time that method would work well for any delicate fruit and my plan was to use the strawberry jam recipe with raspberries instead or try it with a peach melba (peach preserve with raspberries). I also think it would be worth trying with blueberries. I make a spiced blueberry preserve (great layered with streusel in a bundt cake) and I think this method would work great for that.


(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

I would love to use the oven method for my autumn berries, but they have seeds to be extracted, so I end up with a tomato sauce consistency afterwards. I bet it would work well for pitted wild black cherries!! I'm definitely trying the cranberry recipe before long. Thanks again for the recipes Carol.

This has been a great thread!

St. Helens, OR(Zone 8b)

I have the cranberry recipe in the oven right now. I've changed several things. I'll report later on the results.


(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Carol, please do report. I'd like to hear what you changed and how it worked for you!

Orlando, FL

There are canning pears and there are eating pears. The canning pears are supposed to be green and hard whereas the eating pears are supposed to turn yellow and soft. Don't wait for the canning pears to ripen as they will rot most likely.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Fran, that's a good point! I am pretty sure mine is a Bartlett type, though. So they should eventually soften/ripen -- and I think they are finally getting close (or at least close enough).

St. Helens, OR(Zone 8b)

Here you go. I doubled the recipe and got 6 cups or 4 12-oz. jars. My DH likes it so much he asked me to make another fresh batch for Thanksgiving. And he never asks for cranberry anything, so at least it's a winner at our house.

I changed the prep method for the oranges to prevent a bitter aftertaste and also used different spices. I do bake with cardamom but just decided this time I didn't want to use it.

I reduced the sugar by 1/3 which was perfect for us. I have a feeling the full amount would set my teeth on edge.

Baked Cranberry Preserves with Orange, Allspice and Cassia

8 cups firm-fresh cranberries
2 medium-size seedless oranges
4 cups sugar (I used natural cane sugar)
4-5 whole allspice berries
1 teaspoon cassia buds (can substitute some cinnamon stick)
1/3 cup water

Note: to replace the whole spices with ground use 1/4 tsp. allspice and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

The directions are the same as the original recipe except for the orange preparation. I zested the peel as per directions but supremed the oranges (cut out the orange segments from between the membranes). Then I squeezed the membrane "guts" over the bowl to get the last of the juice and pectin. I didn't want the bitter membrane in the preserve, just orange peel and orange pulp. Here are some pictures of supremed orange:


I did use a food processor to chop the segments and peel but next time I'll do it by hand. I want better control over the size of the pieces of peel. Smaller shreds "disappear." Bigger pieces become candied during cooking and are more noticeable. I like that better.

I put the whole spices in a cloth bag (could use a hankie tied in a bundle) and whacked them a few times with a rolling pin. Whatever spices you choose, use a light hand. As the mixture cooks and the water evaporates out they become more powerful.

Since the recipe was double and I used mostly frozen cranberries, cooking did take longer than the original instructions.

The preserve set up nicely. I think at the end the temp was around 216. You just can't go by jell temp for oven preserves. It would have been way too stiff.


none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

sounds wonderful !!!

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Carol, that does sound good... I'll copy it too and decide later which I will try. We all love cranberries here, so I'm sure we will be happy with either one.

I would think that, as long as the preserves are thick enough, reaching the jell point is not an issue either! You've given me enough confidence to experiment with other fruits using the oven method.

Thanks for posting your results!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

i love cranberries

Cochise, AZ(Zone 8b)

Carol, Made your cranberry-cardamom jam today. I added some honey instead of 1 cup of the sugar. 4 c sugar plus 1/2 c honey for 8 cups berries. I did supreme the orange and agree will not zest peel the next time. DH who hates cranberries thinks they're wonderful. I have to agree. Thanks so much for sharing. Think I'll try your second variation next time.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)


... it's that time of year again and I love the pear honey recipe!!

Brazoria, TX(Zone 9b)

Another use for Pear Honey...................I made a pear pie this morning and I left out a most important ingredient. When the pie was taken out of the oven and I took the first bite, I noticed it was not as sweet as it should have been. I had forgotten the sugar.
Even though the pears were sweet and juicy prior to the pie, it was just not the same. I had a jar of pear honey that I had made this past year that I had been saving. My pie was made with the lattice upper crust instead of a solid upper crust so it was no problem to add the honey over the lattice and place back into the oven for an additional 20 minutes. It was really good.
So, thank you lovesdaylillies for that wonderful recipe. I have shared it with many of my friends when giving them a sack of my pears. I had a bumper crop of pears this year and still have them falling off the tree.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Your lucky susie with the pears, living in Texas I would have thought you guys got alot of drought this year as we did, we have 6 pear trees and got like 4 five gallon buckets off all of them, last year we had a truck load. it was our worst year ever for pears.

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