Because I haven’t been able to have any berries (due to Noah’s condition and subsequently, my diet restriction), my breakfast has been limited to just one thing – honey. Very boring. So I decided to “steal” a recipe from my mother-in-law’s husband – pear with vanilla jam! I have not made jam 100% on my own; usually it’s with the help of my in-laws and even then, they are the ones cooking it up while I assist. This time, I decided to brave the waters and do it on my own – yes, without Nil’s help. Took me about two hours to churn out a nice amount of jam – enough to last me till the end of this year, I think. HAHAHAHA.
I bought some ripe but still quite hard green pears from Belgium – oops, it’s not the local variety (not really the season so none were available) – and some gelling sugar which is basically sugar with citric acid and pectin. You could still make jam without pectin (thickener) or citric acid (preservative) but it just means that you either have to use fruits with naturally occuring pectin like some berries OR get a more fluid jam.
After washing the pears well – important as I’m retaining the peel – I remove the center/seeds and quartered them before grating them into large stripes. For the vanilla pod, I ran the knife down the center and scraped out the grains before tossing everything into the pot. Usually we use a copper pot for making jam as the heat conducts more evenly but I don’t have a copper pot so my stainless steel pressure cooker will just have to do for now.
Then comes the tedious task of cooking it down. There is no way you can run away from the stove as this has to cook over medium heat and once the jam starts to boil, you have to stir and stir and stir. Unless of course you want your jam to scorch and burn. Once it reaches the appropriate thickness, it’s time to bottle. Be sure to wash all your jars and lids with hot water and soap BEFORE the jam boils. Canning is a fast step so I didn’t have time to take pictures. Juggling hot syrupy jam in glass jars requires both hands and a decent amount of concentration.
The result is what you see above. I can’t wait to dig into this tomorrow for breakfast!!!!!1