Sweet pear compote with the warming addition of ginger is the perfect accompaniment to your winter baking. Serve on your morning toast, in a donut, on ice-cream or in a cake.
This jam is so perfect for these cooler months. Whilst pears are at their prime and in season, it's a great opportunity to preserve them and make a delicious compote.
If you aren’t a ginger fan then by all means you can leave it out and stick with the sweetness that the vanilla bean adds. It’ll be just as delicious.
For me, ginger is one of those flavours that remind me of Christmas and I wanted to make a compote that would happily working in varying desserts throughout the festive season.
The quantity here is only a small batch, enough for a couple of jars. I haven’t added any tips on preserving jars as I guarantee you that it won’t last long enough to qualify for preserving!
Making Pear and Ginger Compote
It's quite an easy process to make this delicious compote.
Firstly, you'll need to peel, core and cut up the pears and apple, working as fast as you can. They tend to brown quickly so when you add them to the saucepan, toss them in the lemon juice. Add the lemon zest, water, ground ginger, sugar, stem ginger and vanilla bean caviar and pod.
Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 40 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the pears from sticking. Once the pears have completely softened, the juice has thickened and the temperature has reached 104C (jam setting point), then the compote is ready to ladle into your jars.
What's the difference between jam and compote?
The core ingredients of a jam or a compote are the same, fruit, sugar, lemon juice, water.
With Jam, the fruit is cooked long enough for the fruit to lose its shape and soften, for the water content to evaporate and the mixture to reduce down to a spreadable consistency. Jams are then canned in order to preserve them and eaten in months to come.
Compote, on the other hand, uses a long slow method of cooking the fruit so that it maintains its shape and has a more chunky consistency than the jam. In most cases, not all, compote isn’t preserved and is eaten immediately.
PLEASE NOTE: I like my compote quite broken down so I use a fork to mash about half of it.
For more jars and sauces please check out these recipes:
Pear and Ginger Compote
- 450 g 10 pears, peeled cored and diced pears
- 150 g 1 Braeburn apples, peeled cored and finely diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 80 ml water
- vanilla bean pod, cut in half and the beans scraped and set aside
- 300 g caster sugar
- 2 balls stem ginger, chopped
- Place a couple of saucers in the freezer and sterilise your jars. Please do this by washing the jars and lids thoroughly in warm, soapy water and then placing them in a low heat oven until required.
- Place the pears, apples, lemon zest and juice, ground ginger, water, vanilla bean pod, and beans into a heavy-based saucepan and over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes until the fruit is soft. Add the caster sugar and stem ginger, and continue to heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn the heat to medium-high heat and cook at a rapid boil for 20-30 minutes, frequently stirring to prevent the bottom from sticking, until the fruit has thickened.
- Remove from the heat and place a small dollop onto the cold saucer. Push your finger through the dollop, and if it stays separate, the compote is ready. If it isn't ready, then return the pan to the heat for another five minutes before testing.
- Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard, then ladle the compote immediately into sterilised jars, leaving 2cm from the top and seal immediately with a screw-top lid. Cool completely before using.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.