Pear Jam with Cinnamon and Red Wine

It's Paul here. Log-in woes have me writing from E's account, but this is my latest jam post, the second pear recipe stemming from the bounty of fall and the beautiful coastal town of Bolinas. The pear base for this jam came from some gnarled old trees in Bolinas, and the red wine is from the town's most famous wine maker, Sean Thackrey. This one is his red blend called Pleiades. It is delicious and balanced: a great wine for drinking. The jam from this recipe is so flavorful, with a gorgeous, deep red color.

  • 2 3/4 pounds ripe, but still firm pears
  • 3 cups agave nectar or 4 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Juice from one small lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Peel the pears, remove the stems, halve them, core them, and cut each half into slices. In your jamming pot, combine the pears, agave or sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer, then pour the scrumptiousness into a bowl. Cover with parchment paper and put into the refrigerator overnight.

Next day, bring the jam to a boil, while you sterilize your jars and lids. Skim the surface of the jam to remove the foam. Bubbles are not a problem, you just want to get rid of the foam. Add the red wine and return the jam to a boil and continue cooking at a boil for about 10 minutes, stirring gently. Skim as you go, as necessary. After 10 minutes of cooking, gently lift out the pear slices and cinnamon stick. Divide the pear slices into your jars. Boil the syrup for about 5 minutes. Finally, fill the jars with the syrup and seal.

As you can see, we have already tried the jam on waffles. We did not get the picture, but substituting yogurt or creme fraiche for butter with the waffles and jam is an amazing variation on this theme. Sooo good.

This recipe is from Christina Ferber's wonderful book of jam recipes, Mes Confitures.


  1. New to jam making and canning, so please excuse if this is a dumb question. I notice that your recipe (and other jam recipes that use pear)do not call for pectin. Why would this be? Also, if I didn't want whole pear slices, could I mash the pears? Thanks so much for your help.

    1. Hi Essie, good questions:)
      The lemon juice brings the pectin to these French-style recipes. Our jams are by no means solid or as thick as a jelly and can be a little on the loose end, but they are fantastic! ( An apple core also brings natural pectin if you want to add one, then just fish out the core when you're jam is done.) Or feel free to add a little commercial pectin if that suits your needs. Jamming is a loose art and you'll find your groove!
      Yes, you could mash the pears but I think they're much more beautiful when left in slices. The slices nice and tender.
      Happy jamming to you,


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