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Pumpkin and Pear Preserves

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Pumpkin and Pear Preserves

Pumpkin and pears combine deliciously in this preserve

Leda Meredith

A lightly sweet, spiced pumpkin and pear preserve that makes a perfect holiday gift. Lovely served along side roasted meats or root vegetables. You can also make this recipe with butternut and other winter squashes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Canning Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 3 half pint jars

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin, 1 1/2 pounds

  • 1 1/2 pounds pears
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses OR date honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider OR water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Small pinch of ground cloves (less than 1/8 teaspoon)

Preparation:

Cut off and compost or discard the stem end of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy seed pulp (a grapefruit spoon works well for this). Slice the pumpkin halves into wedges - this makes it easier to remove the rind with a paring knife. Cut the skinned, seeded squash into approximately 1/4-inch dice.

Stem, peel and core the pears. Cut into approximately 1/4-inch dice.

Put the chopped pumpkin and the pear into a large non-reactive pot (no aluminum, copper, or cast iron unless enameled. Reactive metals can cause your preserves to discolor). Add the sugar, molasses, cider and spices. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, for 20 minutes.

Raise heat to high. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until most but not all of the liquid has evaporated. This will take 5 - 10 minutes depending on how juicy your pears were. Pack into clean half pint canning jars while the preserves are still hot, leaving 1/2-inch head space. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe. Press on the preserves with the back of a spoon to release any air bubbles.

Screw on canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.

Variations:

Try using other winter squash varieties such as butternut, acorn, or carnival.

Instead of the dried spices, add 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied (crystallized) ginger.

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