For Rach at City Bumpkin who has a surfeit of pears!
Heads up Rach, i’ve never tried this but my ex-grandmother-in-law gave me the recipe and i know she & great-grandad used to really enjoy them.
4lb firm pears (doesn’t say which)
squeeze of lemon juice
1oz piece fresh root ginger, peeled & sliced
3-4 whole cloves
1pint white wine vinegar
1lb 4oz sugar
Peel, halve & core the pears. Immerse in saucepan of water with lemon juice. Simmer gently for an hour or so, until just tender. Put the remianing ingredients in in a preserving pan & heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove pears from the water (carefully – you really don’t want to make them mushy…) & put them in the spicy vinegar syrup. Simmer for about 15minutes – the pears should look transluscent (grandma wrote ‘transparent’ but i’m not sure you could go that far without them disintegrating!) & should be very tender (but not falling apart).
Lift out pears using a slotted spoon & pack into sterilised jars. Boil the syrup for another 5minutes to thicken, pour over the pears – make sure they’re completely covered & then cover & seal.