pear ‘n cardamom (agave) jam ?

pear ‘n cardamom (agave) jam. Let me tell you that we continue to have some pretty ridiculous(ly good) pears over here in Mexico. From Anjou, to Bartlett, to… take your pick. I’ve been overdosing (or properly dosing) all autumn with crumbles and all, so decided to make some jam (primarily as a filling to some chocolate pear ‘n cardamom rugelach).

Talking jams, fact is that in this little corner of the globe they just do not make the cut. Perhaps I was spoilt during my years in the UK, where they already stock organic varieties and sweetened with agave or organic cane juice… but when going to the supermarket over here choices seem to be (ultra) limited. A little push to get me jam-ing I suppose.

The result was a pretty delicious (to say the least) pear jam with spicy cardamom tones. Sweetened with agave nectar rather than sugar, it is an autumn and winter must. Great on toast and paired with a good pecorino, or as a rugelach filling (particularly when throwing in some chocolate flakes or pecan… or both).

Do note, however, that since agave nectar does not behave the same as sugar when put to boil- one must drain some of the liquid before running (half) of the mixture through the food processor and continuing to boil (do not fear- your jam will still be sweet enough). Having said that, this jam is still more runny than if made with sugar (if you mind, click here for a sugar recipe).


(Inspired by Rachel Saunders’ Pear Jam with Green Cardamom)

1 kg (2.2 oz) ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced (about 4)
1/3 cup dark agave nectar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

Toss the pears with the agave nectar and the lemon juice in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

Put the pears (and marinating liquid) in a large pot and put to boil over medium heat. Place the cardamom seeds in a tea ball and add it to the mixture. Cook the pears, stirring frequently, until they become translucent (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat, drain the pears and run about 1/2 of them through the food processor. If too thick, add some of the drained liquid (which can be used to sweeten a lemonade, or something, later on).

Return the pureed and diced pears and the cardamom to the pot and boil over moderately high heat until the jam begins to thicken (about 5-7 minutes).

Remove the jam from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cool, transfer to jars, tightly close and keep refrigerated for up to 2 months.

makes about 3 cups


IMPORTANT NOTE: while I provide measurements in both grams and cups throughout my recipes, I tend to favour weighing the ingredients for greater precision. Measuring by cups depends on too many variables (starting with how you pour the flour) and can be imprecise. I therefore highly suggest following the metric measurements for best results.


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    • Paola says:

      Hi Jane. Yes you can of course substitute the cardamom pods for ground cardamom. Although, given that once ground a lot of the potency is lost you should increase it. I would suggest starting with 2 1/2 tsp of the ground cardamom and going all the way to 3 tsp if you feel necessary.

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