Friday, October 7, 2016

Spiced Pears

Spiced pears kick-started my love of canning. Years ago, I was at the house of a friend of a friend who produced most of her own food. She had these glorious shelves of gem-like food in mason jars, waiting for winter. While we chatted, she opened up a special treat - a jar of pears in spiced heavy syrup. They were clove-y and cinnamon-y, sweet and tangy - a perfect treat on a cold day.

I was so taken that I asked for the recipe on the spot. She pointed me to what has become my canning and preserving bible, the classic Putting Food By. But although I've used many recipes from that book, I've never actually made the spiced pears.

So when our neighbors offered us some excess pears from their tree this year, I knew just what I wanted to do with them.

Pears simmer in a spice-infused brine.
I read somewhere that the best way to core a pear is with a melon baller. Fact check: this does work and produces attractive results. Related fact: I have pear guts in my hair, I think I've developed carpal tunnel syndrome, and I never want to see a melon baller again.

Just like I remember!
The recipe says these are pretty enough to win you a blue ribbon at the fair. As far as presentation goes, let's just say mine... won't. But they are delicious!

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