It’s sand pear season again! I was browsing pear recipes on Punk Domestics and found this crazy jam recipe including pears, pineapples and ginger! I don’t know where this recipe originated, but I bet if you tracked it back far enough you would find North Central Florida. This has to be the only area of the country that both pears and pineapples are being harvested at the same time. I looked at two dozen recipes for pear honey and only a small percentage include ginger but since I have ginger growing in the back yard and I love pears and ginger together, the ginger stays. This is probably the second-best jam I’ve ever made (this grapefruit campari marmalade is still #1) but I’ll be making this every single year from now on, and if I can get fresh sand pears on my next weekend off I’ll make another batch to give as gifts. For you locals, sand pears and pineapples are available directly from local farmers at the Alachua County Farmers Market on Saturday morning. The pear season is pretty short so get’em while you can.
Also, I broke down and bought a food mill just for this recipe. I’ve needed a food mill for a while- peeling and coring more than a few pounds of fruit kills my hands- and so I broke down and bought the second-nicest food mill at our local specialty kitchen-supply store. Once I figured out how to use it the pureeing went to quickly and easily I’m kinda kicking myself for not buying one years ago.
Florida Pear Honey
8 lb sand pears
1 small ripe pineapple
1 chunk of fresh ginger
10 c sugar, preferably organic Florida blonde unbleached sugar
1/4 c lemon juice
Cut pears into fourths and then in rough chunks, no peeling or coring. Peel and core the pineapple and roughly chunk it. Puree in the blender until you have 20 ounces of puree. Grate the ginger until you have a heaping tablespoon or so. Combine everything into a large enameled pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly, and cook until the pears can be mashed with a spoon. Ladle the pears and syrup through the medium plate of a food mill- you want the holes large enough that the ginger and pineapple solids pass through, but not the pear seeds. When all of the mixture is pureed, bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook until thickened slightly. This is where I screwed up! Stir the mixture often during this stage because the bottom will scorch easily. When the mixture is thickened to the consistency of honey pour into hot jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. This recipe made 8 pint jars.