Cranberry-Pear Ginger Preserves

I’ve been running a pretty tight ship, refrigerator-wise. I’m digging right through to the back, taking inventory. On one such spelunking mission I came up with a bag containing 6 overripe pears. Pale yellow and dented, they were far too delicate to travel any distance in a lunch bag. There were too many to grate into muffins or pancakes. My freezer, which unloads the same container of pesto and a few disks of pastry dough every time I open the door, had no room. So while W sat at the table and did his home reading out loud, I chopped them into a pot with some water, sugar and ginger and made a compote. Or jam. Or something that looks great in a jar and is delicious on toast.

It’s not as sweet as most jam, which is why I felt the need to call it a compote. I dumped in a handful of cranberries from the freezer as an afterthought, which made it irresistibly sweet-tart and blushed. It might have been raspberries, or rhubarb. Whatever’s falling out of your freezer.

I admit I winged this. If you cook fruit and sugar it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll wind up with something jam-like. But this is roughly how it was done. (And no, you don’t need to peel your pears. Too much work, and those ripe skins are so thin you don’t even notice them. Plus they have fibre, which is a good thing.) By the way, those are Weck jars, from Crate & Barrel Southcentre!

Cranberry-Pear Jam 1
Cranberry-Pear Jam 1

Cranberry-Pear Ginger Preserves

Recipe link


January 25, 2012

  • Makes: Makes 3-4 cups.


5-6 ripe pears, cored and roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water or apple juice

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

1-2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries


1Put everything into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, occasionally mashing with a large spoon or potato masher, until the mixture thickens, looks more uniform and jam-like. (Remember it will thicken as it cools.) Transfer to clean jars and refrigerate.

Makes: Makes 3-4 cups.

About Julie

7 comments on “Cranberry-Pear Ginger Preserves

  1. supersu
    January 26, 2012 at 6:24 am

    wow. something so beautiful, (and tasty), from what would have been destined for the bin!
    good stuff.

  2. Jan @ Family Bites
    January 26, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Nice! Love the jar, too. I’m determined to make more jams this year and I like that this one is so easy.

  3. Stephanie
    January 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I always think of preserves and summer as going together that I completely forget that you can make them year round! This sounds delicious, I love when they are less sweet

  4. lynn
    January 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Sounds yummy. Glad you didn’t get beaned by the flying pesto and pastry dough 😉

  5. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)
    January 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    This looks so fresh and tart.

  6. Lori
    January 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Making jam is terrifying until I read something you write about making jam. This is not terrifying at all.

  7. Happy Gourmand
    January 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Adding this one to my files – thanks! I like to use these compotes with gingerbread cake or French toast at brunch :)

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