Marisa’s Spiced Pickled Pears

Spiced Pickled Pears 008An homage to Marissa McClellan of www.FoodinJars.com!

First, Marisa will be coming to Atlanta during her “Southern Swing” on her new (and second) book tour starting in late March, Preserving by the Pint.  Our date here is April 19th (a Saturday) and she’ll be doing a few events including a class.  So stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

I’m so thrilled that she’s coming to share her bliss in person with us. Although I’ve canned for over 40 years, I only started teaching and blogging about 4 years ago.  Marisa’s blog was the very first one I found that addressed this topic that is so close to my heart.  And I’ve been following her ever since.

Her down-to-earth writing style, simple recipes, “urban” style (as I call it) canning small batches in a small kitchen gave me the confidence to move ahead.  I’ve had four years of learning and sharing and teaching in this wonderful world of “Preserving”.  So thanks, Marisa!

Pears 05Recently, I posted three Pear Butter recipes.  And I’ve got a fourth Pear recipe – before they leave the local markets and don’t return again til Fall.  It’s Marisa’s Spiced Pickled Pear Halves from her first book:  Food In Jars.  I had made Spiced Pickled Peaches last year (my own recipe) and I just knew I would love this take on pears, too!

A few notes:  I didn’t actually make “haves”.  My pears were too large to fit two halves in a jar so I quartered them (vertically) and added to jars to fit.  It really doesn’t matter, just so you have good-sized pieces to work with to maintain the character. And I doubled the recipe since I wanted extra jars in my pantry to have on hand for awhile.  I had four pounds pears which yielded seven  pints.

Spiced Pickled Pears 008Finally, I didn’t use honey as Marisa did but I did keep the one cup of organic raw sugar called for in her original recipe.  I didn’t double the sugar for my recipe as I don’t particularly like sweet. This will not affect the preserving while in properly sealed jars;  it will, however, affect the refrigerated life after the jar is opened.  You do need some, however, to offset the vinegar as the natural sugar in the pears is not enough to offset the large amount of vinegar. Use the amount and type of sweetener you prefer (but no artificial kinds).

FoodinJarsSpiced Pickled Pears (as adapted from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan)

Makes 7 Pint Jars

4 Cups Distilled White Vinegar
1 – 2 Cups Organic Raw Sugar (or cane sugar)
1 4-inch piece Fresh Ginger or 2 Tablespoons Fresh Pureed Ginger
7 thin Lemon Slices
7 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Teaspoons Whole Cloves
4 Pounds Firm (but ripe) Pears (Barlett or Anjou)

Prepare boiling-water bath canner and place jars in canner.  Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat and hold til ready.

Spiced Pickled Pears 002Combine vinegar, 4 cups water, and sugar in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil.  Wash and cut pears into halves or quarters (depending on size).  No need to remove skins unless preferred. Remove cores.

Remove jars from boiling water and pack pear quarters to fill half the jar. Then add 1 lemon slice, 1 cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves to each jar, placing along side face of jar (to be visible).  Then finish packing the jars til they are full but not squashed.

Spiced Pickled Pears 004Pour the vinegar brine over the pears in each jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Remove bubbles with a bubbler or skewer.  Add more brine to maintain headspace, if necessary.  Wipe jar rims and cap.  Process for 10 minutes (after water has returned to a boil) in water-bath canner.  Remove from canner and leave undisturbed for 12 hours. Check seals after 1 hour and refrigerate any unsealed jars.  Label & date. Best if 1-2 weeks of mellowing time allowed before using.


  • Martha

    What do you use your pickled pears for? Just eat them straight?

    • Lyn

      Hi Martha, Straight out of the jar is delish! I also use them in an entre. I spoon a pear slice and pickling juice over quinoa or rice. If you add a pork chop or salmon filet, then spoon liquid over all. Yum! I also use as an appetizer by spooning a slice or two along with liquid over brie or camembert. Then have your guests dig in! Thanks for asking.

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