Serves: Makes one 1 litre jar
I don’t buy pears very often due to their frustrating habit of remaining rock hard for weeks until, suddenly overnight, they turn mushy and woolly. No such problem with a pickled pear as you can make these whatever stage the pears are at. Having said that, I don’t recommend the pears are granite hard-as they will lack a bit of flavour even through the pickling process. Keep the pears, preferably in a cool dark place for about a month before eating-although I have a jar with a six month vintage and they are absolutely delicious still. If you make them now they will be ready for Christmas. You can pickle some cucumber in any leftover pickling liquid. Salt some thinly sliced cucumber and leave for 30 minutes, wipe off excess salt then add the slices to the pickling liquid and leave for a couple of hours.
- 500ml raw apple cider vinegar
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice
- 35g root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 red chilli
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 large pears
- Put everything but the pears in a saucepan and stir over a moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for five minutes. Meanwhile, peel the pears and quarter lengthways. Slice off the core.
- Add the pears to the pickling liquid and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the pears have softened but still hold their shape.
- Lift the pears out of the liquid and place in a sterilised Kilner jar. Return the pickling liquid to the boil and reduce to about half its volume. Lift out the aromatics and chilli and add to the pears. Pour over enough liquid to cover the pears. Seal and leave for one month.