Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cranberry & Pear Conserve

It's that time of year!  With Thanksgiving and Christmas, it means that you can probably find fresh cranberries at your market or grocery store.  What better time to can some fun holiday recipes using cranberries.  

The first recipe I want to share is a conserve.  What is a conserve?  Jams, preserves, and conserves are all fruits preserved with sugar.  Basically, all conserves are jams, but not all jams are conserves.  A true conserve usually contains fruit mixed together with sugar, nuts, and dried fruits.  Nuts and dried fruits are not apart of this recipe but because of the consistency it is still considered a conserve.  Conserves are runnier than jams and often used on meats and cheeses.

Cranberry & Pear Conserve

  • 6 medium to large firm, ripe pears
  • 1 16 oz package cranberries
  •  4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/14 cups water
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs finely shredded orange peel
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
Peel, core, and chop the pears In a 6-8 quart saucepan combine  all the ingredients

Boil gently, for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently until mixture thickens and sheets off a metal spoon.

To check to see if it sheets off, dip a metal spoon into the boiling mixture and hold it over the pan.  When it is the right consistency, it will slide in sheets rather than drops from the spoon.

Ladle into hot sterile half-pint canning jars.

Leave 1/2 inch head space. 

Wipe rims and adjust lids

Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Adjust for altitude. In New Harmony add 10 minutes to the processing time.

When done processing leave jars in the canner with heat off and remove the lid of the canner allowing it to sit for an additional 10 minutes.

Makes about 7-8 half pints

Pears ripen after you pick them.

Serve with:

  • Thanksgiving turkey
  • Pulled turkey sandwiches mixed with a little stuffing and this cranberry sauce
  • Sliced turkey sandwiches grilled and spread or dip sandwich in cranberry sauce
  • Serve as a spread on cheese and crackers 
  • Omelets
Use this vinaigrette over mixed greens with dried cranberries.

Cranberry Pear Vinaigrette:

Whisk together:
1/4 cup Cranberry & Pear Conserve
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil

Serve over mixed greens salad 

Additional ideas:

Sometimes it is hard to find cranberries when pears are being harvested.  When you find them in season individually quick freeze them and store them in bags in the freezer.

Use dehydrated pears.  Reconstitute by soaking in water for 15-20 minutes.  Drain water and use just like fresh pears. It is not necessary to reconstitute but you can choose to do so.

I like to use as much of my own organic produce so if you do not have fresh pears use dehydrated pears.

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