Cardamom Pear Jam Recipe

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 12, 2023
4.86 from 7 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.

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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.
4.86 from 7 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

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

barely adapted from Food in Jar’s recipe

Did you make this?

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August 31, 2014

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51 comments

  1. Nomi

    Could you give an estimate of how many cups of chopped pears 3 1/4 pounds would be?

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Nomi! You’ll want to use the weight, as this is how it is ensured that the proper ratios are there for canning safety. Cups are measured differently by everyone, especially when you’re chopping something because we don’t all chop to the same size.

  2. BSue

    Do you fully core the pears or just get seeds out?

    • Amanda Paa

      hello! if you are using larger pears, i would remove the tough core. when i make this, i use small seckel pears so i don’t need to, just the seeds.

  3. Laura

    If I don’t have fresh lemons on hand would 2Tbs of ReaLemon work?

    • Amanda Paa

      Yes, that will work perfectly!

  4. Amanda

    5 stars
    The subtle favor nuances with this jam make for a really delicious treat.

  5. Erin Joy

    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!

    • amandapaa

      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.

  6. Shiela

    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.

    • amandapaa

      So glad you liked the recipe! And what a lovely gift you’ll now have to give to others. I’m jealous you have your own pear tree!

  7. Hilda Sterner

    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!

    • amandapaa

      wonderful! happy to hear you found this recipe to make for your brother. hope all of you enjoy.

  8. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    We love canning during the summer, but I miss it so much during the winter time!! With pears in season I have some more canning to do – like NOW!! This is stunning!

    • amandapaa

      i love canning too! and so i got the itch with the pears that were around in winter. it is so good in oatmeal! thanks for stopping by Megan!

  9. Linda Strange

    Is it ok not to use SureJell in this recipe for the Cardamon Pear Jam?

    • Amanda Paa

      Correct – the recipe has not been tested with SureJell. I stay away from artificial pectin, which is why this recipe is made without it.

  10. Rachel

    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

    • Amanda Paa

      This is such a great story Rachel, thank you for sharing it with me! I’m so glad you liked the jam, and I hope Nonna does too. You made my day, xo.

    • René Anderson-Vorfeld

      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?

      • Amanda Paa

        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.

  11. Walter Collins

    My wife and I make lots of jams and this one sounds really good. Can it be doubled?
    Thanks, Walt

    • Amanda Paa

      Definitely Walt! It’s pretty easy to double, and makes for even more to savor. :)

  12. Denise

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

    • Amanda Paa

      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!

  13. FoodGeekGraze

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

    • Amanda Paa

      Terrific! I just love the natural sweetness and depth in this jam. Nice that it makes a small batch too!

  14. lisa

    Hello, have you ever tried with Apples?

  15. Rachel

    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.

    • Amanda Paa

      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!

  16. Tammy Everton

    Discard the last comment.. lol :) Going to try it now. Wish me luck!

    • Amanda Paa

      Correct, no pectin needed because of the acid from the lemon juice and pear skin. You can do it!

  17. Kelsey

    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!

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Kelsey – it is 1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar, not 11. sometimes my font gets a little squished, sorry about that. hope you enjoy!

      • Debbie

        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

        • amandapaa

          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.

  18. Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen

    This jam looks delicious, Amanda! Pear + cardamom seems like such a nice combination. And I love this time of year too, just before fall officially comes. I just wish it lasted a little longer!

    • Amanda Paa

      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.

  19. Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen

    Love the sound of this jam! I’m not very good at using pears in my kitchen, so I’m always looking for inspiring pear recipes and this certainly is one.

    • Amanda Paa

      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. :)

  20. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    This sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • Amanda Paa

      Thanks Patricia! I just love canning when the weather starts to be a bit cooler. The smell of this floating through the house is like sugar plum fairies.

  21. Thea @ Baking Magique

    So beautiful! Usually I’m not a jam person but you made me crave jam! :)

    • Amanda Paa

      Thank you Thea! I think this jam would be great on your whole wheat buckwheat pancakes. What a lovely fall breakfast that would be.

  22. Amanda

    What a great recipe! And girl… these photos are STUNNING!! You are so talented!

  23. Kate

    Beautiful photos, and what a delicious sounding combination. Any gift of food is a good gift.

    • Amanda Paa

      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!

  24. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

    Gorgeous pics Amanda! And totally loving the warm fall flavors of this jam… perfect for a cold morning on toast! Totally making this girl!

    • Amanda Paa

      Thank you for stopping by! Yes, it’s great on warm toast, and I’m also loving it stirred into muesli. Let me know if you do end up making it!

  25. Kathryn

    What a lovely combination of flavours, the hint of cardamom is a wonderful touch.

    • Amanda Paa

      Thank you Kathryn. Safe travels this September as I see you’re off on another journey!