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Fresh from the orchard! Preserve the best of autumn with a batch of spiced apple pear jam. This thick, sweet homemade jam is a beautiful combination of fall fruits and subtle warm spices like ginger and cinnamon. Serve it on toast, add a dollop on warm biscuits, or share the jars as holiday gifts for friends and neighbors.

Jar of spiced pear jam with apples on a wooden table
Table of Contents
  1. Pear Jam
  2. What types of apples and pears for homemade jam?
  3. Ingredients for Ginger Pear Jam
  4. Equipment for Canning Pear Jam
  5. How to Make Apple Pear Jam
  6. What to do with Easy Pear Jam
  7. Storage
  8. Tips for a Perfect Pear Jam RECipe
  9. Spiced Apple Pear Jam Recipe

Pear Jam

This easy pear jam recipe is such a wonderful surprise! I made my first batch on a whim early in the season, and we’re now officially hooked. I’ve squirreled away a handful of jars to share with loved ones as homemade Christmas gifts, but we’re enjoying the rest of the ginger pear jam at almost every meal of the day. The combination of fresh apples and fresh pears is quintessential fall — especially when you add a very subtle touch of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.

What types of apples and pears for homemade jam?

I use fresh, local fruit — whatever is available! My neighbors grow a pear variety that’s very similar to Bartlett pears, so that’s what I used here. While bosc, comice, or anjou pears are all fine, I find that Bartlett tend to have the most flavor. And since the kids stocked our fridge with bushels of Honey Crisp apples from a nearby orchard, those went into the jam as well.

Really, any varieties of pears and apples will work. The jam will obviously take on the flavors of the fruit that you use, so pick your favorites!

Can you make jam with unripe pears?

Yes! In fact, I used very firm (not-quite-ripe-enough-to-eat) pears in this batch and it was perfect!

Do you have to peel pears for jam?

Canning pear jam is incredibly easy — the hardest part is just peeling the fruit! I recommend peeling both pears and apples for jam so that you don’t have tough chunks of chewy skin in your final batch. It’s also very convenient to use the food processor to pulse the large chunks of fruit into very small pieces. This way you get little flecks of the sweet, tender pears and apples throughout the jam, but it’s still easy to spread. If you don’t have a food processor, no problem — it will just require a bit more prep time to finely chop all of the apples and pears by hand.

Do pears have pectin?

Yes, both apples and pears have a large amount of pectin. Pectin is a natural fiber found in plant cell walls, and most concentrated in the skin of fruits. It is water-soluble and binds with sugar and fruit acid to form a gel. Even though apples and pears both contain a lot of natural pectin, the dry fruit pectin is a necessary ingredient in this recipe, as it helps the jam set properly.The pectin also shortens the cooking time, resulting in a fresher apple and pear flavor.

Overhead square image of a jar of homemade pear jam

Ingredients for Ginger Pear Jam

  • Fresh pears and fresh pears: use any varieties that you like! I prefer Bartlett pears and Honey Crisp apples.
  • Lemon juice: lowers the pH of the jam, which neutralizes negative charges on the strands of pectin and helps your jam set.
  • Cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg: warm spices that highlight the flavors in the fall fruit. You can omit the spices altogether, or add more for a stronger taste.
  • Dry fruit pectin: helps the jam set properly, and also shortens the cooking time, resulting in a fresher apple and pear flavor.
  • Butter: optional. This ingredient helps reduce the amount of foam on the top of your jam.
  • Sugar: sweetens the jam and helps it set.

Why add lemon juice to Countryside Pear Jam?

You won’t actually taste the lemon in the jam. Instead, the lemon juice serves a very specific purpose. The lemon juice lowers the pH of the jam, which neutralizes negative charges on the strands of pectin and helps your jam set.

Why add butter to jam?

The butter is the only ingredient that is optional in this recipe (although I highly recommend including it). You can’t taste the butter in the final product; however, the butter serves a specific purpose. As you heat the fruit, the proteins open up into strands that get tangled up and help stabilize the bubbles into a foam. Adding the butter (a fat) helps to prevent this tangling, and therefore reduces the amount of foam on top of your jam.

Equipment for Canning Pear Jam

You need to have all of your ingredients and supplies ready to go before you get started, since this process moves very quickly. Here’s some helpful equipment for canning pear and apple cinnamon jam:

  • 6-7 sterilized half-pint mason jars and lids: this recipe yields about 6 cups of jam (maybe a bit more), so you can use any size jars that you prefer to accommodate this amount. I like half-pint jars because it’s just the right amount of jam to keep in the fridge after it’s opened.
  • A sterilized funnel: this makes it easier to get the jam inside the jar without spilling; however, it’s fine if you don’t have a funnel — you can carefully spoon the jam into the jars instead.
  • Tongs: canning tongs are incredibly helpful when taking the jars in and out of the boiling water
  • Saucepan or Dutch Oven: for cooking the jam. Allow plenty of room for the fruit to boil, bubble and foam!
  • Water Bath Canner or Large Pot for Boiling Jars: this needs to be very deep so that you can cover the jars with at least 1-2 inches of water. I use my deepest stock pot for this step, since I don’t have an official canner to process the jars.
  • Food processor: to finely chop the apples and pears before cooking.
Tongs and funnel for canning

How to Sterilize Jars and Lids for Jam

It’s a good practice to sterilize the jars and lids before canning in order to kill any bacteria, fungi or yeasts before filling. There are a variety of ways to sterilize the jars (here’s a helpful article with different options). I typically use the dishwasher, and make sure that the jars and lids stay hot in the machine until I’m ready to fill them.

How to Make Apple Pear Jam

I originally discovered this jam in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook. I’ve tweaked the original recipe slightly — giving it more oomph with some warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. All of the best flavors of the season! The spices are still very subtle, so if you prefer a stronger ginger flavor (or other more prominent spices like cardamom), you’ll definitely need to increase the seasoning to taste. You can also add vanilla beans for a flavorful variation.

  1. Peel, core and quarter the pears and apples. No need to chop them, since the food processor will do the hard work!
  2. Pulse fruit in a food processor until the apples and pears are chopped into very small pieces.
  3. Combine the chopped fruit mixture with the lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, pectin and butter in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot.
  4. Boil, add the sugar, and then boil again for exactly 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat and skim off the foam with a metal spoon.
  6. Ladle jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ¼-inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth, then add the lids.
  7. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  8. Cool completely, then check seals.
Spoon scooping up spiced pear jam from a mason jar

What to do with Easy Pear Jam

This homemade pear jam recipe is delicious spread on toast, dolloped on biscuits or cornbread, spooned over pancakes or waffles, stirred into yogurt or oatmeal, or drizzled over ice cream.

The jam is also a great gift to share with friends, neighbors and family at the holidays. I love to pull a jar out of the pantry, tie a nice ribbon around the lid, and gift it to someone in December. I don’t have to fuss with baking or shopping during the busy season, and it’s nice to enjoy a taste of autumn during the cold, gray months.

Front shot of ginger pear jam recipe on a biscuit

Storage

Once the jam has had a chance to cool, you can check the seals. The lids should be down in the center or stay down when pressed. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks. Properly sealed and processed jars of pear jam should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place (such as a pantry). The homemade jam will last for up to 1 year.

Tips for a Perfect Pear Jam RECipe

  • Leave ¼-inch of headspace in each jar. Leaving the proper amount of headspace in a jar is important to ensure a vacuum seal. If there’s too little headspace, the jam may expand and bubble out when air is being forced out from under the lid during processing.
  • The jam will not set immediately, so allow the jars to rest without interruption at room temperature until cool (or overnight).
  • Overcooked Pectin: It’s important to boil the jam with the sugar for exactly 1 minute. If you overcook the pectin, it may break down and fail to gel.
  • Add More Spices: The seasoning is very subtle in this jam. If you like a stronger ginger pear jam, add more spices to taste.
  • Reduced Sugar: I know that 5½ cups sounds like a lot of sugar, but trust me: you need all of it! Stick with regular granulated sugar (instead of sugar substitutes like Splenda or stevia) and do not decrease the quantity called for in the recipe. Jam making is an exact science, so measuring the correct quantities of fruit, sugar, and pectin are essential to a successful batch.
Front shot of a jar of spiced apple pear jam
Square front shot of a jar of apple pear jam

Spiced Apple Pear Jam

5 from 7 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Processing Time 10 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 6 half-pint jars of jam (maybe slightly more)
Calories 51 kcal
Fresh from the orchard! Preserve the best of autumn with a batch of Spiced Apple Pear Jam.

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups peeled, cored and quartered pears (any variety will work)
  • 1 cup peeled, cored and quartered apples (any variety will work)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon allspice
  • teaspoon ginger
  • teaspoon cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1.75 ounce package dry fruit pectin or ½ cup Dutch jel pectin
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 5 ½ cups sugar
  • 6-7 half-pint canning jars and lids, sterilized

Instructions

  • In a food processor, pulse pears and apples until fruit is chopped into very small pieces. Transfer the fruit to a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, pectin and butter.
  • Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add sugar and stir to mix well. Return to a rolling boil, then boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam with a metal spoon.
  • Ladle jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe rims clean with a damp cloth; add lids.
  • Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel and cool completely. Check for seals and refrigerate any jam that did not seal properly.

Notes

  • Make sure that you leave about ¼-inch of headspace in each jar. Leaving the proper amount of headspace in a jar is important to ensure a vacuum seal. If there’s too little headspace, the jam may expand and bubble out when air is being forced out from under the lid during processing.
  • The jam will not set immediately, so it’s important to allow the jars to rest without interruption at room temperature until cool (or overnight).
  • Overcooked Pectin: It’s important to boil the jam with the sugar for exactly 1 minute. If you overcook the pectin, it may break down and fail to gel.
  • Add More Spices: The seasoning is very subtle in this jam. If you like a stronger ginger pear jam, add more spices to taste.
  • Reduced Sugar: I know that 5½ cups sounds like a lot of sugar, but trust me: you need all of it! Stick with regular granulated sugar (instead of sugar substitutes like Splenda or stevia) and do not decrease the quantity called for in the recipe. Jam making is an exact science, so measuring the correct quantities of fruit, sugar and pectin are essential to a successful batch of jam.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 2mgPotassium: 6mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: apple pear jam, ginger pear jam, pear jam
Course: condiment
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    There are so many adds that keep us from seeing the recipes. Even when I’m writing you I had an add cover this area. It says (Fargo). Also the adds move around for some reason…extremely hard to read the recipe for the advertisement . Sooty because I love this website.

    1. Thanks for that feedback, Linda! I’ll send a note to my ad company — that’s not okay! Hopefully they can get it sorted out.

      1. Hi, Harry! I’m very reluctant to tweak the sugar in jam recipes because it can completely throw off the ratio with the pectin and prevent the jam from setting. Brown sugar isn’t typically used in jam making because it has a much stronger flavor than the granulated sugar and can overpower the taste of the fruit. That said, maybe you would love the flavor with brown sugar — in which case, feel free to experiment. I just can’t guarantee that the finished product will have the same consistency. Hope that all makes sense! 🙂

      1. Hi, Caroline! I’m not sure. I haven’t tested this recipe with frozen fruit. I think it would probably work, but I can’t say for certain.

  2. 5 stars
    Made a double batch today of your spiced Pear Apple jam since our neighbors gave us a flat of pears and apples. I increased (close to double) the spice amounts but kept everything else the same. Turned out sweet and delicious! Looking forward to winter months opening up some of this jam! Thanks for posting.

      1. Hi! I prefer firm to very firm pears (just ripe enough to eat, or even slightly under-ripe). Hope you enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Just got done making a double recipe. I boiled it extra long and added the pectin for the last miniate. It has just the right amount of spice to me. Thanks for a good recipe.

        1. Hi, Kimberly! I haven’t tested it that way, but I think it would probably work. The flavor will obviously be a little bit different, and the texture might be thicker or different since pears naturally have more pectin than apples.

  4. 5 stars
    Fantastic! This is the first jam we’ve tried making and it turned out so much better than the small effort that went into making it. We doubled it and got 8 pints. 7 made it to the pantry, the kids intercepted 1! Thank you so much!

    1. Hi, Cindy! I don’t know — I’ve never tried. I think you could probably put it in jars and freeze them if you don’t want to process the jars in a hot water bath.

    1. Hi, Kimberly! Have you given it a chance to cool? The jam won’t be very thick while it’s still warm, but it will thicken and set as it cools in the jars. Otherwise, I would use it as a sauce over ice cream, pancakes, waffles, etc. 🙂

  5. This question may have been asked.
    As I pressure can and have never hot bathed anything how tight do you screw the ring on for the bath method?
    Pressure canner is a good finger tight.
    Have lots of pears and apples NOT sprayed at all.
    Oh, how about the peels as once again NOT sprayed at all.
    They say the peel has the most nutrients!!
    It is now late August, 2022.

    1. Hi, Jeff! It’s my understanding that the rings should be finger tight for a hot water bath as well.

      I’ve always peeled my fruit for this recipe, so I’m not sure how the texture would be if you leave them on. Do so at your own risk. 🙂

    1. Hi, Wilson! I’m honestly not sure. I know that Asian pears have a slightly different flavor, so that will be a bit different, but I’m not sure if the texture of the jam will be the same or not. I’ve never tried it.

  6. 5 stars
    I made the jam as stated in your recipe. Smells like one was making an apple pie after the sugar and spices were added. Taste tested by hubby & he gave it 5 STARS. Set perfectly. Looking forward to making another batch. I would not change anything. This recipe has been added to my collection of favorite jams to make. Thanks for an easy recipe.

    Date made October 10, 2022