Several months ago, I attended an art fair that showcased homemade goods including dinnerware, artworks, jewelry, and more. I personally love shopping at these kinds of events where the goods are as unique as the creators. Tempted to buy a crate full of goodies, I instead went home with one artwork and two jars of jam. You probably weren't expecting me to say jam, huh? What initially caught my attention were the flavor combinations. I immediately fell in love with them. Since then, I have been looking for another jam vendor but have been unsuccessful. Alas, the only solution is to make my own. No regrets here though because this pear hibiscus jam is absolutely delicious! Spread it on toast, have it with your cheese board, or heck just eat a spoonful of it. It's that good.
Pear Hibiscus Jam
- ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 lb d'anjou pears about 4 cups
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon fruit powdered pectin
- Steep hibiscus flowers in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain, squeezing out as much liquid as you can. Discard the hibiscus flowers, reserving the liquid.
- Peel and core the pears. Chop into small chunks and combine with reserved hibiscus water, sugar, lemon juice, and fruit pectin in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Sterilize canning jars and lids by boiling them in water for 5 minutes. Transfer the jam to the jars, leaving ¼ inch space at the top. Make sure the jam is packed in, running a knife around the insides of the jars to remove any air bubbles. Screw on the tops and seal the jars.
- Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and carefully lower the jars into the water, leaving a 2-inch space in between the jars. Add more water as needed to cover the jars at least 1 inch above the top of the jars. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the pot and let cool completely. Store in a cool dark area.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Time to make pear hibiscus jam! Hibiscus flowers are most commonly used as a tea; it's even said that the tea is a great way to prevent colds during the winter months. Just don't test me on that since I haven't tried it myself!
For the jam, we are going to steep the flowers in hot water and use the infused liquid to flavor the jam. Drain the flowers, squeezing out as much of the water as you can. Combine it with peeled, cored, and chopped pears, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. Feel free to use Bartlett pears, bosc, or comice but make sure they aren't too ripe. Slightly under-ripe pears are the ideal fruit you want to use.
Now comes the question, "do you need pectin?" Pectin helps the jam achieve that jelly texture that you are familiar with and makes a thicker spread. You can skip the pectin but because pear has naturally low pectin, I decided to add it in. If you want to omit it, you will have to cut the amount of liquid by half. Infuse ½ cup of flowers in ½ cup of water and cook the fruit with the hibiscus infused water, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the pears have softened and the liquid is reduced about 15-20 minutes. The jam won't be as thick but it'll still taste great.
It's moments like these when I realize that homemade is the way to go. I have yet to see pear hibiscus jam at the store and this just tastes fresher, brighter, and lets' face it, BETTER, than mass-produced jam. Excuse me while I go spread this on everything.
For more breakfast inspiration check out this hazelnut focaccia de recco recipe!