This combination has a particular affinity with buttery things, such as brioches and croissants, and is great as a filling for pancakes, especially with vanilla ice cream.
Canning cookbook author Mary Tregellas tests the set of her jams, jellies and marmalades in one of three ways: the wrinkle test (place half a teaspoon on a plate chilled in the freezer; push it with your finger to see whether it wrinkles); the thermometer test (220 degrees, although she finds this not uniformly helpful); and the flake test (dip a wooden spoon in the mixture, let it cool for a few seconds then let it drop off the spoon; it should form flakes that hang on the edge).
It's best to use a pot that is wider at the top than the bottom (like a jamming pot or Maslin pan), to allow for evaporation. A saute pan might do the trick.
Make Ahead: Store the jam (unopened) in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
Servings: 5 - 6 half-pints
- 2 1/4 pounds fragrant, ripe pears
- 5 1/2 ounces (150 grams) good-quality dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa)
- Freshly squeezed juice of 2 or 3 lemons (1/2 cup)
- About 3 tablespoons water
- 1 3/4 pounds (800 grams) sugar
- Pinch ground cinnamon
Peel, core and dice the pears; coarsely chop the chocolate.
Combine the pears, lemon juice and water in a wide saucepan (see headnote) over medium-low heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and cinnamon, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes; the consistency should be soft but not too liquid (see headnote).
Stir the chocolate into the warm mixture until it is melted and thoroughly incorporated. Put into hot sterilized jars (see NOTE).
NOTE: To sterilize the empty jars, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat so that the water is barely bubbling. Immerse 6 half-pint jars in the pot. Place the rings and lids in a separate small saucepan and cover them with very hot, but not boiling, water. Leave the jars and lids immersed while you cook the jam. Drain, then fill the jars with the jam; seal the jars but not tightly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immerse the jars in the hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Transfer the jars to the counter; when cool, check to make sure the rings are not on too tight.
Adapted from Tregellas's "Homemade Preserves and Jams: Over 90 Recipes for Luscious Jams, Tangy Marmalades, Crunchy Chutneys and More" (St. Martin's Press, 2012).
Tested by Cecilia Stoute.
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