Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Pears

I’ve fallen in love with these little pears.

They’re called Seckel pears, and they’re plum-sized bundles of sweetness!  I’ve just learned about them this year.  I generally am not a fan of pears, but the texture of these isn’t as mealy as I find most pears to be.  Of course, it’s because they’re sweet.  I’m addicted to sugar! They’re even also known as “sugar pears.”

So I’ve been buying them to eat with my lunches at work.  They’re available August through February so I can continue to find them at my farmer’s market for a little while longer. I will miss them when they’re gone.

I had some left over at the end of last week, and they were going soft – they wouldn’t have waited to be eaten. Instead of wasting them, I decided to pickle them, and make spiced pears.

I found a couple of recipes on the web, but none of them suited me exactly, so I created my own hybrid. I only had 4 little pears to preserve, the equivalent of two half-pints, so this recipe can be doubled or triple to suit your own amount of pears.

Pickled Pears

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 muslin spice bag
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cloves

Prepare hot-water canning bath with jars and lids.

In large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, both halves of the cinnamon stick.  In a spice bag, put whole allspice berries and cloves and tie up. Add the spice bag to the mixture. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Wash and dry pears, but do not peel. Cut out any bad parts if needed.  Add pears to the mixture.

Bring to a boil and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Remove jars from hot-water bath and fill with pears and a half-stick each of cinnamon.  Add pickling liquid over the pears in each jar. Leave 1/2-inch of headspace, clean off rims and set lid and bands.  Process for 20 minutes.

The pickling liquid was DELICIOUS. I could have drank it.  As it was, I tasted it more than was necessary just because it was so yummy.

The final product is just so beautiful. What a pretty gift this would make, and at a half-pint size, the perfect individual dessert.  If I get more seckel pears, I will DEFINITELY be making this again!

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