Pear trees seem to have on years and off years. This must be an “on” year. I’ve noticed many pear trees really laden with fruit, and I had the good fortune to get the green light from a friend with two prolific pear trees recently. I’ve had a huge box of pears on my porch steps for a week now and I have finally decided what to do with them…pickled pears! Perfect with a cheese plate or on a holiday spread.
I have a tried and true recipe from “a guy who pickles” in Friendship, Bob Stafford…and here it is! The recipe was handed down from Bob’s Great Grandmother, Ida. It’s from the 1870’s and sure to please.
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro
30 Seckel pears
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon allspice
1 ounce ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 pint cider vinegar
3 1/2 pounds brown sugar (Ida’s recipe called for dark, but I prefer light brown sugar)
Peel the pears and stud with whole cloves. Bring to a boil all the above. Add peeled pears and cook until tender. Add pears and syrup to cover into Mason jar or larger glass gallon jar.
Can as usual or these will keep for quite a while under refrigeration.
Makes four quart jars of pickles.
Note: Spears Farm Stand in Waldoboro has lots of pickling supplies and large one gallon glass jars, which are my preference.
Laura Cabot is an MF&L columnist and blogger, a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner, and president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.