Entries in pear (2)

Saturday
Mar122011

pear and ginger jam

 

last year a friend gave me a jar of pear and ginger jam from ottelenghi – it was her new obsession and really delicious. since then i’ve occasionally looked online for a recipe that i could use to replicate it but there doesn’t seem to be many pear jam recipes out there. this is probably due to the fact that pears are low in pectin so getting pear jams to set can be tricky.

last weekend i decided to try and make a batch, having seen this recipe on dollop of cream. the recipe is in cups which is easy enough when you’re dealing with certain ingredients but “10 cups of peeled, cored and sliced pears”  is less easy to translate so i also looked at this recipe from cottage smallholder for pear and lemon jam.

there was debate about whether or not to add water to the fruit and sugar mix. i didn’t bother and was glad i hadn’t as the pears released a lot of their own liquid.

i used a mix of lemon juice and zest and jam sugar to address the pectin issue. i’ve not used jam sugar before and was unsure if it would have a negative effect on the flavour but i didn’t notice any impact so would happily use it again. the lemon flavour was very pronounced as the jam was cooking but it mellowed by the time the jam was ready.

the ginger was very subtle when the mix was cooking but it does come through in the finished jam. the shape of the pear pieces is worth thinking about if you make this jam – i used conference pears and was expecting the pear pieces to disintegrate. instead, as you can see in the picture above, the pears stayed largely intact. as a result, slices might be a nice alternative.

for me this was a pretty good effort at replicating the ottolenghi jam but i need to find out what my friend thinks…

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Monday
Nov012010

la poire sorbet

grey goose generously supplied me with a bottle of their la poire vodka so that i could put it to the taste test.

the aroma is pure fruit – a sweet and ripe autumnal scent. it has a smooth sipping texture and i’m looking forward to david getting creative on the cocktail front with it.

however, i wanted to use it in my cooking and decided that an autumn sorbet was the best way forward. i kept things simple so that the taste of the fruit and the vodka would shine through– ripe conference pears, peeled and cooked in a sugar syrup until they softened were blitzed to a smooth puree. i added some lemon juice and zest to brighten things up and then, of course, added a slug of grey goose la poire.

the addition of vodka means the sorbet has a great texture, slightly softer than it would otherwise be which means it only takes a minute or so to soften sufficiently when you take it out the freezer. the flavour was great, particularly when i poured extra vodka over the sorbet when it was served!