Pear paste is ideal for adding to cheese platters. Here is how to make it; you’ll find it’s very simple but delights the cheese lovers.
Boil the pear jam down until it becomes very thick.
Pour the thickened jam into a suitable small square container.
Leave to set.
Once it is cold, turn out and cut into squares. If not using immediately, wrap in food grade plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
If serving, you will only need one to two squares per cheese platter, as it is very rich.
Line the cake pan with plastic food wrap.
Peel the pears.
Remove their cores too. Cut the flesh into chunks. Weigh the chunks; you’re done when you have 1kg.
Put the pear chunks into the blender.
Blend until pureed.
Transfer the pear puree to a heavy based saucepan.
Add the sugar, lemon juice and spices to the saucepan too.
Warm over a medium heat.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Bring to a boil.
Boil for 15 minutes or until it thickens into a paste and turns dark. Stir occasionally.
Remove from the heat.
Let cool for 5 minutes.
Pour the cooked pear paste into the lined cake pan.
Use the back of the spoon to smooth down the surface.
Let stand to set.
Leave in the kitchen, at room temperature, overnight.
It’s a good idea to cover the cake pan with baking/parchment paper to stop anything from falling onto the setting paste.
Remove the past from the pan the following day.
Peel off the plastic wrap.
Cut the pear paste into neat, small chunks.
It’s now ready to serve with cheese.
Wash the pears.
Add the pears to the saucepan.
Cover with cold water.
Bring the water to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until soft.
Remove from the heat and drain.
Let cool, then peel.
Puree the cooked pears.
Place them into a sieve over a bowl and push the pears through the sieve using the back of a spoon. All the fine puree will fall through into the bowl.
Add 3/4 cup of sugar to each 1 cup of pear puree.
Place the pear puree, sugar, water, lemon juice and lemon peel into the heavy based saucepan.
Bring to the boil.
Cook for a minute and stir if needed. Reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour or until it thickens. If you’re using pectin to mold the jelly, add now.
It is ready when a drop of it firms on a cold plate after a few minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Transfer to a mold or a sterilized jar.
Remove the peel before molding or transferring.