These amazing sweet and sour spiced pickled pears are the perfect addition to any cheeseboard. The juiciness of the pears with the kick of warming spices makes them dance delightfully with turkey and game too.
I love having lots of extra foodie things at Christmas. Pickles and chutneys are great for adding a bit of interest to any dish, especially those leftovers at Christmas time.
Nothing beats brightening up a plate of cold cuts or a cheeseboard with a good pickle. These spiced pickled pears work brilliantly both with the main meal (especially turkey) and for livening up those leftovers too.
Types of pears
Conference Pears area long thin conical shape. They are yellow with spotty russet markings. The flesh is grainy, sweet and juicy and they are good for eating and cooking.
Comice Pears are rounder in shape and have a juicy tender flesh. Another good one for cooking and eating. Really good with cheese!
Concorde Pears are a cross between Comice and Conference varieties.
Red William Pear has a speckled, bright red skin, and soft, sweet flesh.
Rocha Pears are from Portugal, have a firmer flesh and are juicy and sweet.
Williams Bon Chrétien (aka Willliams Pears) are tender and juicy, and good for cooking and eating.
Whatever pear you choose make sure that they are quite small as you want to get a few in your jar.
Ingredients for these spiced pickled pears
Pears, the type of pear is up to you but you do want nice firm pears that are quite small in size for this pickling recipe.
Lemon for it’s gorgeously mouth puckering zinginess.
Raspberry vinegar, you can buy this in the shops and also make your own with my homemade raspberry vinegar recipe. If you don’t have raspberry vinegar use red wine vinegar instead.
The spice mix
This is the important element to your spiced pickled pears and it’s totally simple.
Cinnamon, allspice berries and cloves.
The only other ingredient in these pickled pears is water.
How to make spiced pickled pears
Peel the zest from the lemon avoiding the bitter white pith. Now squeeze out all that gorgeous juice into a pan.
Add the sugar, vinegar, water and all the spices and once the sugar has completely dissolved raise the heat and bring this pickling syrup to a boil.
Peel the pears, half them lengthways and remove the core. You can leave the stalks on as this looks rather pretty when you’re serving your pickled pears.
Pop the pears into the hot pickling liquid and simmer for about 20 minutes till the pears are tender enough for a skewer to pierce.
Pack the pickled pears into a sterilised jar (I got one big jar of spiced pickled pears from this recipe).
Bring the pickling liquib back up to the boil and let it boil for 5 minutes then pour over the pears in their jar.
Pop on the lid and set aside for 2-3 weeks to let that pickling magic happen.
Keep lemons in the fridge and always remove take them out half an hour before using so they are at room temperatre. Roll the lemon on your work surface a few times to break down the fibres inside and release the juice.
If you do not have an unwaxed lemon do this to remove the wax coating that supermarket lemons have;
Give the lemon a jolly good scrub with soap and warm water to remove the wax coating and rinse thoroughly and then pat dry. Voila! You now have an unwaxed lemon.
You can use white wine vinegar for this recipe too but you won’t get that lovely rich pink colour on your pickled pears. They will still taste amazing though.
How long do pickled pears keep
Unopened these pickled pears will keep in a cool dark place for up to six months. Once opened store in the fridge and use within a month.
How to serve these sweet and sour spiced pears
These pears are wonderful served simply as part of a platter with cheeses and pate.
They work really well with turkey and game just added to the side of your plate. The juicy sweetness of the spiced pear with that sweet and sour pickling syrup really brings out the best in the meat.
Serve a couple of pickled pears with a slice of gorgeous game pie.
Chop the sweet and sour pears up finely and serve like a chutney on a turkey sandwich or with a good old fashioned cheese toastie!
Looking for more fun foodie ideas for the festive season? Then check these out before you go
Finally, if you do try this sweet and sour spiced pickled pear recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love hearing from youo. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Sweet And Sour Spiced Pickled Pears
- 1/2 large lemon juice and zest
- 225 g 8oz sugar
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 4 allspice berries
- 75 ml 2.5 fl oz water
- 225 ml 7.5 fl oz raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 500 g 1 lb fresh firm pears
- Peel zest from half the lemon and squeeze out the juice
- Add this to a pan wth all other ingredients (apart from the pears) and heat gently to dissolve sugar then raise temperature and boil.
- Peel the pears and half lengthways leaving on the stalk but removing the core
- Add pears to the boiling pickling liquid then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes till pears tender enough for a skewer to be insterted easily
- Pack pears into a big sterilised jar
- Raise temperature and boil pickling liquid for 5 minutes then pour over the pears and pop on the lid
- Set aside for 2-3 weeks to mature then serve
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