I decided to make Pear Marmalade after getting a glut of pears I helped pick as part of ‘Local Fruit Harvesters.’ If you want to help pick fruit in the Willesden/Kilburn (as well as other areas) then contact Michael Stuart.
So what to do with several kilos of pears. My girlfriend got a book off a friend, which has many traditional fruit recipes in it. It is called ‘The Home Orchard Cookery Book‘ by Gillian Painter. I strongly recommend it, as it has loads of recipes for apples, pears and even a few for crab apples, the little red things on the trees in many London streets, that do not get picked, but fall onto the street below, get mushed into the pavement and create an unsightly mess that only the pigeons seem to enjoy.
I decided to make Pear Marmalade using the following recipe:
3 kg pears
3 c water
3 kg sugar
Peel oranges and lemon finely and soak peel overnight in water. Peel pears and cut up finely, add orange and lemon pulp and juice, sprinkle with sugar and leave overnight. Next day put it all in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer till pears are soft and yellow and mixture sets on a saucer. Below are some photos from this recipe
Pear Marmalade coming to the boil
The pear marmalade finally jarred
Please be aware of the following: Pears are low in pectin. Pectin is mainly contained in the peel and core of fruit, and is what binds them together. Pears are low in this, and as I found it does not set. I stupidly tried to jar 13 of them before realising. What I did was boil up some crab apples to make some pectin, and also added some jam sugar, though think this is what burned to the bottom of the pan. I suggest adding either jam sugar (more expensive than regular sugar, but easily available in supermarkets) or make some homemade pectin from the many un-used crab apples in London.
My granddad is halfway through his first year and has given the thumbs up. He is veteren of decades too many to mention so if he likes it then I reckon you will too.