Cardamom Pear Jam Recipe

By Amanda Paa – Last updated: April 12, 2023
4.84 from 6 votes
A flavorful, small batch pear jam lightly sweetened with brown sugar, giving it caramel flavor. With the addition of flaky sea salt and simmering time, this version resembles caramel decadence in jam form. The brown sugar boils down into absolute deliciousness, and the addition of cardamom brings warmth and depth. This pear jam recipe has no added pectin.
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Caramel Cardamom Pear Jam | heartbeet kitchen

Although the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” was made for the holidays, I find the lyrics playing in my head as I stroll down the aisles of the farmers market these days.

Tomatoes of all colors, crisp cucumbers, zucchini of every size, bags full of sweet corn piled high. And in fall there are winter squash, pears and apples just starting to arrive. It’s the true essence of a beautiful summer meets fall collision. Canning and preserving each season’s harvest is one of my favorite hobbies, ensuring that I can enjoy things all year long.

In Spring, I love to make fresh rhubarb sauce. In summer, several batches of zucchini pickles, tomatillo salsa verde, and fire roasted salsa.

Caramel Cardamom Pear Jams | a canning recipe

What pears are great for making jam?

Seckel pears are the sweetest and the smallest of the pear family and look like a blushing bosc, which you’ll commonly find in grocery stores. So if you can’t find seckel pears, bosc work well in this recipe too. Both have a delicious spice flavor to them and a fresh crispness even when ripe.

Those qualities make them perfect for simmering and preserving into this Caramel Cardamom Pear Jam. Swoon……

How to Make Pear Jam:

Getting this jam to set couldn’t be easier. It naturally happens as the fruit simmers for an hour and the juice of a lemon at the end gives it the acidity it needs for canning safety, no artificial pectin needed.

I peeled half of the pears, but left the others with the skin on because I like a little bit of texture. (If you like something completely smooth, this Vanilla Chai Pear Butter is delicious too.)

The end result is lush preserves that with the addition of a hint of salt, give off a homemade caramel taste.

Its ideal match is a fresh slice of whole wheat sourdough bread, but let me tell you, it’s amazing on ice cream or with big cluster granola and yogurt.

Caramel Cardamom Pear Jam | a canning recipe

What Does Pear Jam Taste Like

This recipe is a slight adaptation from the master preserving wizard herself, Marisa of Food in Jars, who made this brown sugar based pear jam.

With the addition of flaky sea salt and double the simmering time, this version resembles caramel decadence in jam form. The brown sugar boils down into a sticky, sweet mess, and the addition of cardamom is what autumn comfort is all about.

Cardamom is one of my favorite warming spices, such a lovely match to the slight spice of the seckel pears. I ground the seeds of the green pods with a mortar and pestle, it’s scent so unique – a hint of eucalyptus and citrus and cloves.

Used this way, the spice is quite potent, which is why you’ll see two measurements – one for if you grind it yourself, the other if you buy it pre-ground, where exposure to air tames it down a bit.

Caramel Cardamom Pear Jam |small batch canning | heartbeet kitchen

More small batch jam recipes:

Caramel Cardamom Pear Jams | a canning recipe
Caramel Cardamom Pear Jam | heartbeet kitchen
pear jam in ball canning jars

Brown Sugar Pear Jam (for canning)

A flavorful, small batch pear jam lightly sweetened with brown sugar, giving it caramel flavor. The cardamom adds warmth and depth, making this a winning jam.
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes
Additional Time :10 minutes
Total Time :1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 3 half pints
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 3 ¼ pounds of pears, half of them peeled (I used Seckel, but I think any variety would work)
  • 1 1/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
juice of one large lemon

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom or (1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom if you grind it yourself in a mortar and pestle or spice mill. it’s more intense, so less is needed)


  • Sterilize jars in boiling water canner. and wash lids and tops with soapy water.
  • Coarsely chop the pears, then combine them with the sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer, stirring frequently and lightly mash with a potato masher the pears soften, until the mixture thickens and is syrupy. This will take about 45 minutes, and you will see larger bubbles forming in the simmer.
  • Stir in the salt, lemon juice and cardamom, then simmer for 2 more minutes.
  • Ladle the hot preserves into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims. Center the lids on the jars. Apply bands until the fit is just tight.
  • Process the jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit for 5 minutes then remove the jars and let cool in a draft-free spot overnight. Check the lids for seal after 24 hours – they should not flex up and down when the center is pressed. Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
  • Alternatively, if you don’t want to mess with the canning, you can skip the whole jar sterilizing and boiling water bath process — just store in clean, air-tight jars in the refrigerator for up to a month.


barely adapted from Food in Jar’s recipe

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August 31, 2014


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  1. I’m in Kathmandu, Nepal and this recipe seems like the perfect little taste of Autumn that I’m missing here. My pears are bubbling away as we speak. I know you won’t see this in time for this batch, but hopefully before the next… Our lemons here are tiny, about the size of key Limes — do you have an approximate measurement for how much juice “one large lemon” produces? I guessed 3 of mine might be equivalent, but a ballpark figure would be super helpful. Thanks for such great inspiration!

    • Hi Erin!
      I’d guess two of yours would be an equivalent to one medium lemon here. So three is probably right! So fun that you are making the recipe all the way over in Nepal. Hope it turns out well for you.

  2. I just made this pear and it is so amazing. We have a Bartlett pear tree that’s busting with fruit and I love making things for my co-workers at Christmas time. The only part I don’t enjoy is killing the pears and I wish I got a lot more jars but other than that it’s amazing. Going to try your vanilla chai pear butter next weekend.

  3. I recently mailed my brother and his girlfriend a jar of nectarine jam. He loved it so much, he has been pestering me to send him more ever since. Yesterday he called to “place an order”. He asked for 2 jars of peach jam, 2 jars of pear jam and 2 jars of nectarine jam. I found this funny, since I’ve never made peach and pear jam before. He was pretty persistent and did tell me that money is no object. Cardamom has always been my favorite spice, so this sounds right up my alley. I will give this recipe a try and see if my brother approves. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. My grandmother’s pear tree was so full, the branches were almost touching the ground. We spent a lovely afternoon picking pears together, she in her wheelchair reached the low branches while I stretched to reach the high ones. I made this incredible jam today (my first jam ever) and it was absolutely delicious! Nonna will be so proud. Thank you for the lovely recipe and inspiration! xoxo

    • 5 stars
      Hi! I just tried this and followed the directions closely. It tastes delicious, but it is more like an applesauce texture than jam. My pears were summercrisp from my trees..and they were not very juicy. Do you think that’s why I didn’t get a jammy consistency?

      • Hi! That just means you need to continue cooking the jam down. The amount of sugar in the pears can affect how long it takes for it to cook down to the consistency you desire. You didn’t do anything wrong, just need to keep cooking it.

  5. Hi, I followed the recipe and it looks and smells wonderful, but the jam seems a little runny, will it set more over time?

    • hi! the jam will get thicker when it is the refrigerator. I would say that next time you make it, cook a little longer to really get it to concentrate and allow more liquid to evaporate. that way you will achieve a thicker set right away. hope you enjoy!

  6. what an exciting flavor combination in a jam. i am sooo going to make this. thank you thank you thank you :-)

  7. Does this scale up okay? 3 half pint jars just seems like such a small amount. :0 I think I’ll have to make 4x the recipe, to make it work for Christmas presents! Will that works? It looks and sounds delicious! :) Thanks.

    • Hi Rachel! I’m not sure about making 4x the amount, it might be hard to get it to set. What I would do in that situation is make a larger scale pear jam recipe that you find and add 1 teaspoon per 6 pints. Hope that helps!

  8. Sorry, by 11/4 cups brown sugar do you mean 11 1/4 cups, or 11 cups or..?

    Thanks for posting, the jam looks terrific!

      • How do you think using “Jamaican allspice” would work instead of cardomon? And how do you feel about using the slow cooker to cook it down with

        • I think the all-spice would be okay if you like it! Otherwise I would stick with cardamom. A slow cooker would also work to make this, but it isn’t a lot of liquid so I would keep it on low and watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.

    • I wish it lasted a little longer too Julia! At least apples and squash store well, and I love putting things like this up so I can enjoy a taste of summer in the colder months.

    • Sini, this is really the first year that I’ve gotten into pears. I didn’t grow up eating them, but I’m just beginning to see how wonderful they can be in different types of recipes from sweet to savory. I even started a pinterest board called Perfect Pears. :)

    • Thank you friend :) If I get a chance to make another batch of this, there will be a jar with your name on it. Also, we may need to put in an order for those Harry and David pears again this winter!