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Preserved Pears

  • Yield: 3 quarts


  • 2 1/2 pounds sugar
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 large Oriental or Bartlett pears (about 5 pounds), peeled, cut in half, and cored


  • Combine the sugar, wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper in a large nonreactive pot over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pears and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until foam appears on the surface and the pears are fork-tender and transparent.
  • Remove the pears with slotted spoon.
  • Continue to cook the cooking liquid until it has thickened into a syrup, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Return the pears to the liquid and reheat for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until they are warmed through.
  • Remove the pears and place in 3 hot sterilized quart-size preserving jars. Pour the syrup over the pears to within 1/2 inch of the top of each jar. With a clean damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Tightly screw on the metal ring. Process in a hot-water bath for 20 minutes. Using tongs, remove the jars, place on a towel, and let cool. Test the seals.
  • Tighten the rings. Store in a cool dark place. Let age for at least 2 weeks.