|Quick and easy lime and pear jam.|
Overripe pears, almost wasting away in their basket, were the inspiration for this pear and lime jam. I enjoy soft, ripe pears, but these pears had softened to such a degree that they were no longer appealing, even to me. I tried slicing one up and using it in a salad. The pear slices broke up as I tossed the salad, so fragile they were.
|Zesty lime and pear jam. Deliciously tangy.|
I gave one of the pears to a bandicoot who hopped into our garden, and he ate it with gusto, but I did not feel the same enthusiasm that our cute little marsupial visitor displayed.
|Cute bandicoot eating an overripe pear.|
So there the pears were, languishing away. On a whim, I chopped them up and threw them into the saucepan, drizzled lime juice all over the pieces, mashed them up with a fork, covered them in sugar, and cooked them into a translucent jam. The taste of the pear is subtle, perhaps almost unnoticeable, but it gently tempers the dominant lime flavour. The delicious sourness, along with the pretty bits of lime zest, make this jam creation feel like a milder, less intense form of marmalade.
|The gentle pear softens the sharp acidity of the lime, but this jam still packs a sour hit.|
quick pear and lime jam
(makes only a cute tiny portion - feel free to multiply the recipe)
2 overripe medium to large pears (Williams/Bartlett pears or any soft, creamy, overripe pear will work)
1 medium to large lime, or at least 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon lime zest or slightly more
1/4 - 1/3 cup granulated white or raw sugar
Peel and core the pears. Roughly chop the flesh and place the pieces in a saucepan.
Grate the zest of the lime. Set aside.
Thoroughly squeeze the juice from the lime into the saucepan. Using a fork, toss the pear chunks through the lime juice, then mash up the pear pieces. (This is why you need really soft, overripe pears for this recipe!) They do not need to be perfectly mashed; a little roughness can add interest to the texture of the jam.
Allow the mixture to bubble over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, or until it is thick and no longer runny. Test with a spoon by scooping up the jam - if it is done, it should form a glob that slowly slides off the spoon.
Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in lime zest. Since this is a tiny portion, you can just pour the jam into a small ramekin and allow it to cool completely. Cover securely with cling wrap and store it in the refrigerator. It can stay fresh for at least a week this way.
Feel free to multiply the recipe, and if you do, you may want to extend the life of the jam by keeping it in a sterilised glass jar with a secure lid.
|Spread this marmalade-like jam on bread or toast... and enjoy!|