Not many have heard of pickled pears. In fact, everyone I've told about the plan for this week's blog has been both confused and intrigued at the concept. It's pretty funny for me to think about, especially because it's one of my favorite things to do with lots of pears. I don't necessarily enjoy eating pears, and the kind of pears I always seem to find are the ones better suited for cooking than eating straight off the tree. I'm sure that not many here in the states have even heard of the concept of pickled pears but I'm glad to be the one to introduce it to you. This, along with Upside Down Caramel Pear Cake, is one of my favorite things to do with the plethora of gorgeous Asian Pears that do so well out here in the midwest.
For this method, we'll be using a water bath canning method because I don't own a pressure cooker. I do have a large stock pot which I use for - you guessed it, stocks - and canning. You can find these on the cheap online or in many restaurant surplus stores. I'm using 32 oz quart mason jars for this project, and while you are more than welcome to use that size, you may use whichever size you have access to. This recipe makes enough brine for two of these jars, so please adjust accordingly.
Pickled Asian Pears
yields 2 32 oz/quart jars or 4 pint jars
- ~1 lb Asian pears washed thoroughly, quartered, and cored
- 1 c + 3 Tbsp 5% white vinegar
- 1 c white sugar
- 2 c water
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- Per jar
- 1 star anise
- 10 white peppercorns
- 4 spiceberries or 2 allspice berries + 1 peel of orange zest, pith removed
Other things that are nice to have:
- A wood cutting board to rest your things on
- A few clean tea towels
- Some good music and a long phone charger
|Thank you Fix.com for the help!|
When you've packed your jars thoroughly, let's prepare the brine by combining the sugar, vinegar, water, salt, and the bay leaf in a pot and bringing to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add your spices to each jar. Spiceberries are a gorgeous foraged item found in the midwest of America and we haven't yet figured out how to cultivate it. I'm a part of an incredible project with Prairie Birthday Farm to grow them and I'll hopefully be able to dry and sell them in the coming years. Until then, if you can't get your hands on these lovely native spices, use allspice berries and orange zest in each jar. Just drop the spices in the tops of each jar you fill and call it square.
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