Spiced Pear jam, ready for gift-giving!
Mashing the Pears
Ladling jam into jars
Putting the lid on the jam prior to processing

Last night I taught a class on how to make and can Spiced Pear jam. The students were an enthusiastic group, and what was particularly fun is that we were not only learning how to make jam and can it, but we were doing it with the goal of making gifts to give for the holidays. If you want to make jams for gifts also, here’s the recipe! After you’ve made and canned the jam, all you need to do is decorate the jar in whatever way you prefer….I like to tie a small card to the jar with some twine for a bit of a rustic look, and sometimes I cut out a colorful round circle of paper or cardstock and glue it to the lid of the jar to add some color. However you decorate your jar, no doubt it’ll be a hit….who dosen’t like a homemade gift, right?!? Especially one you can eat!

Spiced Pear Jam
Makes 6-8 Half-Pint Jars

Note: this recipe requires 1 package of Pomona’s Universal Pectin.  The pectin box will contain two packets—one packet containing tan-colored pectin powder, and one packet of white-colored calcium powder.  

To do ahead of time:
****Wash and rinse half-pint jars, lids, and screw bands.  Set screw bands and lids aside until ready to use.  Place jars in hot water bath canner, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil.  Sterilize jars for 10 minutes, then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use.  
****Prepare the calcium water (included in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package).  To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear container with a lid. Shake well before using.  Note that you will have more calcium water than you will end up using in this recipe, and can save it for later use.

¾  pounds ripe pears
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons calcium water
2 cups sugar
4 ½ teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder


  1. Rinse pears, then peel and remove stems and cores.
  2. Mash the pears in large bowl.
  3. Peel and finely-mince the ginger root and set aside.
  4. Measure 6 cups mashed pears (saving any extra for some other use) into a large sauce pan, then add ginger, cinnamon, lemon juice, and calcium water. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder, mix well, and set aside.
  6. Bring pears to a boil, then add the sugar–pectin mixture.  Stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.
  7. Return mixture to a boil, then remove from heat.  
  8. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace.  Remove   trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening just to “fingertip tight”.
  9. Place jars back the canner, cover with lid, return to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes.  (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
  10. Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes.  Then, remove jars from canner. 
  11. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then, confirm that jars have sealed.  Enjoy your jam!  Or, store properly for later use. 

Recipe credit: Allison Carroll Duffy