My grandmother used to make pear preserves when I was young. We would eat them the same way you might eat jam on toast and they bring back sweet memories. Many mornings started at my grandparents' home for my brother and me, plus whichever of my cousins happened to be there before school. The rule was that everyone needed to eat *something* for breakfast. My Memaw was not kidding when she said to let her know what you wanted. She would make it if you would eat it: pancakes, eggs, toast, bacon/ham/fried bologna, cereal, oatmeal, or something simple like fruit. I believe we were a little spoiled with this looking back!
I keep remembering the texture and flavor of these pear preserves she made and thinking about how it might be really nice incorporated into a tart or pastry recipe. The last time I was home I asked Memaw about it. She had no recipe but described the process - so a-Googling I have been!
This recipe by Mommy's Kitchen sounds the closest to her original method - but Memaw only listed pears and sugar in her recipe. I do love lemon so I believe I'll try her recipe as listed next time I attempt this. I started with the smallest batch I could to see how well this works and where I need to adjust, etc. I used the proportions of sugar to pears and the method found in the above link.
2 quarts firm pears - about 6 total - I used Bartlett
1 1/2 cups granulated Sugar
Peel and core pears. Slice thinly.
Place pears in a stainless steel pot and cover with sugar. I used the pot I planned to cook the pears in.
Let the mixture sit for 12 hours, covered, at room temperature. All the sugar will dissolve and pull moisture out of the pears. This will be the liquid you cook the pears in.
After the sugar is completely turned to liquid, bring the mixture to a boil on the stovetop.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook, uncovered, for a couple hours.
Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally. The pears are firm enough not to fall apart with all this stirring.
Once the pears are translucent, tender and the color is a golden or amber hue, remove from heat.
Use them now or proceed to your preferred canning method to preserve this tasty treat!
A couple of canning guides:
Serious Eats - A Beginner's Guide to Canning
Food in Jars - Canning 101: How to Can Using Weck Jars
Progression of color development - creamy white to medium golden
Progression of translucence - opaque to completely translucent - I can see the wood grain of the spoon through the pear in the last photo
These turned out well! I don't think they are 100% a match to Memaw's -but that would be highly unlikely for the first time making them anyway. I'm calling it success and will post the next dessert I use them in!!