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Food and Drink

Easy tips for using the pounds and mounds of fresh fall bounty

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Pear honey

Despite the name, this doesn’t use honey. Nor is it thick and syrupy. It’s more of a mouthwateringly juicy fruit conserve than a jam. Makes 8 outstanding 8-ounce jars.

Core and pare 9 cups (about 5.5 to 6 pounds) of ripe pears (Bartletts preferred as they are juicier). Chop them fairly fine. Be generous, packing your measuring cup and even filling it past the line. Use a Dutch oven and combine the pears with a 14-ounce tin of crushed pineapple and its juice (or a 9-ounce tin will do); 5 cups of white or raw sugar, or about half the volume of fruit, and 2 to 4 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice. We prefer lime and use the higher amount. Cook slowly on medium heat, so it’s at a slow boil, stirring often and breaking up the larger pear chunks with a potato masher if need be. It should take about 25-35 minutes, depending on things like the amount of juice in the fruit and the humidity. You want the pear bits to be translucent and the whole thing to be a light bright yellow colour, slightly thickened and chunky, but not sticky or syrupy. When it’s ready, ladle into sterilized jars and seal according to manufacturer’s directions, or pour a bit of melted paraffin on top. Store in a cool, dry place. If you don’t seal the jars, it will keep refrigerated for months.

Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who can take her pear honey straight up.