Speaking of Ambrosia…

In the spring, I made some strawberry jam, which is nearly gone. Now that it’s fall, and pears have ripened, I’ve started making my go-to winter preserve: pear-ginger-walnut conserve. This stuff is incredibly good. I made several batches last year and ate it on biscuits, English muffins, bread, and with cheese. Oh, it’s good with cheese.

I don't peel the pears; the skin disappears in the cooking.

I don’t peel the pears; the skin disappears in the cooking.

I start with really ripe pears that have turned yellow and smell like ambrosia. This means I have to buy them and then wait, because they’re very rarely ripe and unbruised in a store or at the farm market. You need about five for this recipe. Dice them up and throw them in a pan with two cups of granulated sugar and the zest and juice of one whole lemon.

I get the walnuts and ginger ready while the pears are beginning to cook.

I get the walnuts and ginger ready while the pears are beginning to cook.

Chop ¾ cup of walnuts and 1 Tablespoon of grated peeled fresh ginger. Let the pot of pears and sugar come of a boil and add half a cup of red wine. Cook until the pears are soft and you can crush them with the back of a spoon. This takes around 20 minutes. At that point, add the walnuts and ginger and cook 5 more minutes or so.

Meanwhile, I've also got water heating.

Meanwhile, I’ve also got water heating.

While the pears are cooking get your boiling water bath ready. I use a lobster cooker, which is large enough to cover a quart jar, but small enough to disappear into a closet. Once the water boils, sterilize your jars.

My sterilized jars, resting on a clean towel with the jar grabber.

My sterilized jars, resting on a clean towel with the jar grabber.

At the same time, heat up the lids.

These just need to be heated in a small pan.

These just need to be heated in a small pan.

Once the jars are sterilized, you can ladle the conserve in, cover the jars with lids and screw the bands on. Lower the jars into the boiling water for 10 minutes. When you take them out, listen for the little pinging noise that signals they’ve sealed. I like to let the conserve sit for a week or so for the ginger to permeate it. It doesn’t last long after that.

Oh, yum!

Oh, yum!

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2 Responses to Speaking of Ambrosia…

  1. pauljoeRTW says:

    Your instructions actually make me think I can actually try this… in small batches. Skins disappear – great. Thanks! Also makes me wonder if such things can be wrestled into something ever so slightly less caloric. Probably not without going the Splenda (etc.) route. Ick. Destined to be one more quilty pleasure.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      This is not the sort of thing you make less caloric. It’s just sugar, which if you aren’t diabetic, should not be a problem in the quantities you might spread it on your toast or apply to some excellent cheese. It is a life luxury, a small everyday pleasure you can take because the rest of your diet is so healthy and balanced…

      Like

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