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Pear and ginger jam

10 August 2012

When I was young we had three pear trees in our small garden in Devon – one survives and produces a fine crop of large, juicy soft-skinned fruit. Each autumn I go to collect them, keep the best ones for eating, and spend hours peeling and chopping the rest to be frozen and used in jams, chutneys and desserts. Then, my suitcase full of treasure, I catch the train back to London.

Pear and ginger jam


7 jars


12 months


  • 1.3 kg (3 lb) pears (prepared weight)
  • 225 g (8 oz) preserved ginger
  • 1.1 kg (2 lb 8 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • grated rind of 2 lemons


This was one of my mother’s favourite recipes. Her notes read: ‘Based on a recipe from The Good Cook’s Encyclopedia, bought for me by your father on our first trip toPlymouth in 1961 at a bookshop inside the railway station. Price Two Shillings and Elevenpence – roughly 15p at today’s price. I used Langenscheidts Taschenwörterbuch (pocket dictionary) for translation.’

Makes 7 x 340g (12 oz) jars
Keeps for 12 months

1. Core and slice the pears. Peel any with tough skin. Chop the ginger.

2. Put all the ingredients in a preserving pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

3. Boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until setting point is reached. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Pears are low in pectin, so this is a soft jam – it will thicken rather than gel, but should not be too runny. Test for a set and pot into hot sterilized jars (see page 18 of the book) when ready.

Variation: This jam can also be made with cooking apples, or a mixture of apples and pears.

Notes From The Jam Cupboard by Mary Tregellas was published by New Holland Publishers in April 2012, priced £14.99. 


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