|For this I used mostly d'anjou and some red scarlet pears.|
As promised I am going to let you know what I choose to put up and when so you can see what goes into my pantry/larder.
I think that ginger is one of those things that rings freshness through the nose. You FEEL it's flavor. Like hot peppers, it is a bit of a physically undeniable experience that extends the tasting to a perfume.
I feel Ginger harkens excitement, awakening and makes things happier. I once hated it and now am confused at how I could have possibly.
I am a big pear fan. I feel like if I had a friend I'd want them to be an apple - a little more durable and robust, but a pear is a lover. It takes a little more finesse and you must treat them nicer. So isn't it lovely that pears have a very long season (variety to variety). This means that they can get nabbed locally (for me) for a lot of months. This makes me feel contented until their prices go up... then less so. So preserving them is a good thing while they are cheap. Cheap, FRESH, seasonal and local.
I looked through the giant catalog styled books of canning and found not a jot interesting enough to try out on the pears (other than pear butters, which require a lot more pears than I was willing to sacrifice). So feeling a bit like Imelda Marcos needing a pair of sturdy hiking boots I went all internet on it and still came up short. In which case the result is *&@% it, add cardamom and ginger - bang. Done.
I use Jelly jars for this recipe because it is potent and I can't imagine eating a lot in one sitting. If you have a big family then Quarts may be the way to go.
You will need approximately 1 pear for every half pint (the little jelly jars) you use. The yield depends on how packed you can get the jars with pear pieces. It averages 10 half pints per this recipe of liquid it you jam them babies up well (making sure to leave just enough room to have the lids seat properly). I got 20 jars from 18 pears and did the recipe below twice for that same amount.
5 - 6 Cups water
2 1/2 Cups vegan sugar - this is considered a "light syrup" I feel "light" is by old standards and seems really sweet to me.
8-10 cardamom pods
2 -3 twigs of cinnamon (I used real cinnamon not cassia bark... Ceylon/real cinnamon is lovely, delicate and smooth, cassia is potent so you can use a lot less of it for this. 1 twig or 1 heaping tsp of cassia cinnamon. If you don't know if your powder is cassia and you are in the US, chances are it is, if it says Ceylon then you know it isn't. If it doesn't state this implicitly then it is cassia.)
3/4 inch knuckle of ginger root grated (This is plenty to bring the feeling and taste of ginger without a lot of nose heat, if you'd like more do it up.)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 lemon's zest
Bring water to a simmer - light boil, add sugar and whisk gently to blend into dissolving. Once dissolved add spices, zest and ginger. While liquid simmers and steeps peel and core fruit and slice into chunks and coat with a touch of lemon juice to keep them from browning.
In your clean jars add a 1 tsp lemon juice this will insure your fruit has enough acidity to preserve.
pack well with pear pieces.
Strain your very hot liquid through a sieve and fill jars with syrup leaving 1/4-1/2 inch room.
Lid and finger tighten then place into water bath's boil water.
I pre-warm my oven to 150-200
I have the jars rumble boil in the bath for at least 12 minutes then move the hot jars to a lightly warm oven 150-200 for 5 minutes... then move the jars to room temp until they cool. This will help them cool down SLOWLY. You'll hear the jars doing "things" and making sounds for the next hour and that is the jars sealing themselves into that vacuum to keep things tasty and pure for you.
Process your water bath as you normally do. If you don't normally do this then I recommend you grab a book on the subject to fully understand it as food preservation is pretty crucial to get correct. The rule is that you hear a "voop" sound when you open the jar to eat. It not... that jar of stuff can make you dead sick, or just dead.
Pack your jars well so when the jar is sealed and the fruit floats there isn't a lot of room that is just syrup.
Serve these as a dessert alone or over ice cream, whipped cream, vanilla breads of a variety of sorts or a rich deep almost bitter chocolate thing.
I'm blowing your mind, I know.