- 4 cups finely chopped peeled and cored firm ripe pears, about 4 pounds of pears
- 1 box (1.75 ounces) regular powdered pectin
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, or prepare vanilla sugar*
- 1/2 teaspoon butter, optional (helps reduce foaming)
- 5 cups granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
*To prepare vanilla sugar, put the 5 cups of sugar in a large bowl. Slice two vanilla beans down the side and scrape seeds into the sugar. Bury the pods in the sugar, cover tightly, and let stand for at least 2 days, stirring a few times. Remove the pods and use the sugar in the recipe.
Put lemon juice in a 6- to 8-quart stainless steel or enamel-lined (with no chips) pan. As you chop the pears, measure them into the lemon juice and toss to coat, so they won't turn color.
Combine the pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar and stir into the pear mixture. Add the butter, if using. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Gradually add the vanilla sugar, stirring constantly. Bring back to a full rolling boil and continue boiling, stirring, for 1 full minute. Skim foam and ladle into the hot prepared jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a damp towel and fit with the hot prepared lids. Screw on bands to fingertip tightness. Do not overtighten. Lower the filled jars into the hot water, adding more water if needed to bring it at least 1 inch above the jar tops and cover the pan. Bring to a full boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and turn off the heat. Let the jars stay in the hot water for 5 minutes before removing to a towel or rack. Makes 6 half-pint jars.