Part 4 :: Preserving 101


Before you begin:

  • Make sure your jars are sterilized (see previous articles). Always have an extra jar or two ready in the event of a mishap.
  • Assemble all of your equipment (wooden spoon, metal spoon, ladle, canning funnel, hot water bath canner, rack insert, canning jars, lids, and metal bands)
  • Read the directions first carefully.
  • Assemble your ingredients.
  • Put water in the hot water canner and heat to boiling as you begin the jam. In a smaller pan, bring a quart of water to the boil for the lids,

Pear Ginger Jam

This is a delectable jam for toast or scones – and equally delicious drizzled on goat cheese for an appetizer with crackers or fruit. Glaze turkey burgers during the last minute of grilling with a brushing of jam.


4 cups pears (about 8 or 9 pears), peeled, cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced*
1 package dry pectin, such as Sure Jell
7 cups sugar


Place the chopped pears in a large stockpot with 1/4 cup water and cook over low heat, just until pears begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and mash the pears with a potato masher or wooden spoon.

Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and ginger root and bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Stir in package of pectin. Slowly stir in sugar and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Jam is ready when it slides off the back of a metal spoon in a sheet – it should be thickened and jam-like, not runny.

Lade into hot sterile half-pint jars, leaving ½ inch head space, and wipe rims clean. Top with hot lid and secure ring with a firm twist. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes. Allow jars to cool and do not disturb for 24 hours. Check seals, wash and polish each jar carefully, and label. Store in a cool, dark space.

YIELD: Makes about 7 half pints jars.

*1/4 cup crystallized minced ginger may be substituted

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