There are few fruits as versatile as the ancient and humble pear. Perfect in salads, in refreshing summer drinks, with hearty meats, or even on their own, pears always seem to us a good idea.
This seriously easy pickling recipe allows you to punch-up the flavor you already expect from pears in a sophisticated way that effortlessly impresses guests. And, in the upcoming autumn and winter months, jars filled with these pickled pears make lovely gifts.
10 firm pears (Red Bartlett or Bosc)
1 fifth (750 ml) Merlot
3 cups red wine vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
3 cinnamon sticks
- In a pan large enough to eventually hold the pears, combine wine, vinegar, sugar, rosemary, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- While that is getting up to temperature, peel the pears leaving the stems intact.
- When the mixture begins to boil, begin stirring constantly until a thin syrup forms, about 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted utensil, slip the pears into the boiling syrup and reduce the heat to medium. Gently boil the pears, turning them in the syrup, for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them to the point that they are mushy.
- Transfer the pears to clean, dry jars with sealable lids using the slotted spoon. Ladle in the hot syrup, including the cinnamon sticks, until the pears are completely covered and the jars are filled within a half an inch of the rims.
- With a damp cloth, wipe the rims clean then cover the lids and process for 1 hour in a hot water bath.
- Remove the jars from the bath and allow them to cool for 12 hours, or overnight. Check for complete seals.
- Store the jars in a cool, dark place. They will keep for up to 1 year. Once opened, keep refrigerated. Store jars lacking a complete seal in the refrigerator up to 10 days.
Recipe adapted from The Glass Pantry: Preserving Seasonal Flavors, by Kathryn Kleinman.
About the Author:
Katie Straw is the Gourmet Scribe at GourmetGiftBaskets.com, one of the top suppliers of gift baskets in the nation, and currently resides in Manchester, New Hampshire.