SPICY SECKEL AND BARTLETT PEAR JAM
Seckel pears are generally firm little things; for the Bartletts, opt for not quite totally ripe – too soft makes them harder to deal with. The cooking softens them up. You'll want to peel the larger Bartletts; leaving the skins on the Seckels makes short work of the recipe proceedings and adds a depth of color.
This is a double recipe adapted from the wise people of Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin.
SPICY SECKEL AND BARTLETT PEAR JAM RECIPE
A mixture of Speckel and Bartlett pears, enough to make 8 c. chopped fruit
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
15 c. sugar (yes, you read that right)
2 pouches Certo
16 pieces star anise
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
Peel and core the Bartlett pears and chop into small bits. Core the Seckels and chop into the same size bits
Get your jars and lids ready, following approved sterilizing procedures. This recipe makes 16 8 oz. jars.
Add fruit, sugar, lemon juice to a large heavy pot (the jam expands when it boils so make sure it's a big pot).
Start with low heat and stir until the fruit and sugar and juice mix together so everything is moist. Turn the heat to medium high, stirring all the while, and stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg (reserve the anise for now).
Bring to a furious boil, stir, stir, stirring hard so you don't have a big boil over mess. (DANGER! BOILING SUGAR CAN BURN THE SKIN RIGHT OFF YOU!) Add the two pouches of Certo, keep stirring and when the raging boil stage returns, boil for one minute and then take the pot off the heat.
Ladle into the sterilized jars. Add one star anise to each, pushing it down against the side of the jar so you can make out the pretty outline.
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.