Pear Jelly: A New Hilltop Homestead Obsession

I’ve never even heard of pear jelly before, but I made some and oh my goodness. Where has pear jelly been all my life?

Shortly after we moved here, we saw a long line of people standing at the back of a semi in a parking lot. One by one, they were approaching the semi trailer, and were handed boxes of some kind of food.

My Fruit Supplier

That’s how we found out about (I get no kickback or perk for that link, just directing you to it if you’re interested.)

Occasionally, they’ll have fruit I’m really interested in and I’ll place an order. I head to town on the designated delivery day, take my place in line behind the semi trailer, and wait my turn to pick up the fruit I’ve reserved.

Back in August, I picked up a bushel of peaches and a bushel of pears. From those, I canned peach slices, but we still had so many jars of pear slices, I didn’t want to do the same with them. I decided to make pear sauce (think applesauce, but with pears instead of apples).

Allow me to say, I am so glad I made the pear sauce. Not only will it bring a little variety to our “applesauce” options, but it’s so stinking delicious. This is something I will do annually as long as I’m able!

There were several skins and cores left over from that process, however, and didn’t want them to go to waste. That’s when I wondered if I could make pear jelly.

Pear Jelly?

While we were able to harvest many chokecherries from our trees this year, we weren’t able to make enough jelly to last us until next chokecherry season. With sandwiches and toast, jelly is a regularly used staple in our household. I needed to supplement our chokecherry jelly supply.

I went to my trusty canning recipe book and there in black and white was a recipe for pear jelly. Apparently people long before me have been insightful enough to not let their pear scraps go to waste.

And I am ever so thankful.

The Process

I made pear juice from the scraps and set about my first batch of pear jelly. It’s been a struggle with jelly at times, and I end up making syrup instead of jelly. I recently learned if you try to double a jelly recipe, the pectin often won’t allow the jelly to set.

This was my problem! In trying to be efficient and make double batches, I’ve actually been hindering our jelly production. (Though the various fruit syrups always end up being a happy accident.)

It does take longer to get through our amounts of juice, but I now only make jelly in single batches, sticking strictly to the printed recipe.

From the first batch of pear jelly, I got exactly eight half-pints of jelly. And they set!

The Pear Jelly Taste Test

When I went to wipe off the jars and place labels on them, one of the lids ended up coming off. Shoot! A faulty seal.

This meant we had to put the pear jelly to use and consume it sooner rather than later. Again, not a terrible problem to have.

I stuck a slice of bread in the toaster oven to prepare as my pear jelly tasting vehicle. A layer of melted butter later, I was spreading the pear jelly on my toast for the ol’ taste-test.

I. am. obsessed.

It’s subtle yet brilliant. It doesn’t at all taste like I’m eating pears on my toast. It tastes wonderful, though. I can’t quite describe it. It’s a treat, to be sure.

I suppose it should have come as such a surprise that pear jelly exists. Or that it is wonderful.

A few years ago, I used corn cobs from Farmer John’s corn to make “corn cob jelly”, which was a recipe from the depression era. It was also delicious (I thought it tasted like honey), and corn cobs were the star ingredient! Surely pear scraps are capable of producing a more delectable treat than corn cobs.

At any rate, so long as I can obtain pears, I will make pear sauce. And from those hard-earned scraps from one preservation dish, I will continue to make this wonderful delicacy of pear jelly.

Thank you and amen.

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