Kieffer Pear Preserves

As Vivian wrote on her blog: “Kieffer preserves are so special in fact, I wouldn't dream of simply typecasting them as condiments for toast or biscuits. They've got way more potential than that. Instead, I spoon my pear preserves on top of fancy cheese balls and ripe wheels of Brie. I gild fatty pork chops and glaze smoked hams with generous spoonfuls mounted with a little cider vinegar. And I whisk preserves with a mix of lemon juice, salt, and olive oil to transform them into an ideal dressing for bitter greens like arugula. But for the most mind-bending costume change, a fruit preserve could possibly make, add a little or a lot of hot sauce and drizzle the drippy result on fried chicken.” For more detailed instructions on boiling water bath canning, go to Ball® Canning Guide or National Center for Home Food Preservation.

2 pounds peeled, cored and sliced Kieffer or sand pears
2 pounds granulated white sugar
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

Toss the sliced pears with the sugar and lemon slices in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. (This step is crucial. Do not skip it. If you do, you'll make jam not preserves.) The next day, cook all the fruit and the accumulated juice over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes until the fruit is translucent.

Pack fruit into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Cook syrup for 3 to 5 minutes, or longer if it is too thin. Pour hot syrup over fruit, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for five minutes in a boiling water bath. 

Yield: about 5 half-pint jars