Oh boy! The pears are ready to be picked from the trees and instead of starting with recipes for pear desserts, I thought I'd just go ahead and pickle some of the first ones and let you enjoy the recipe for these.
This recipe will make about 6 pints or 3 quarts of pickled pears.
6 lbs. pears about 40 - 45 depending on the size
2 T. salt
3 cups white pickling vinegar
6 cups sugar
2 slices candied ginger or a few slices of fresh ginger root
2 T. EACH whole cloves and whole allspice
1 lemon, thinly sliced
5 2-inch cinnamon sticks
Peel pears. To prevent darkening while you're peeling them, drop the peeled pears into mixture of 2 quarts water, the salt and 1 T. vinegar.
In a large Dutch oven, combine 5 cups water, vinegar, sugar and ginger.
Tie cloves and allspice in a small cheesecloth bag and add to the mixture along with the sliced lemon and cinnamon sticks. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
Drain the pears thoroughly and add them to the syrup. Bring to a boil again and cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pears are just tender.
Pack pears in hot sterile canning jars. Add a cinnamon stick to each jar if you'd like. Remove spice bag and lemons from syrup. Pour syrup over pears to within 1/4 inch from top of jars and seal.
Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove to a non-drafty area to cool. Check lids to make sure they have all sealed. Refrigerate any which have not sealed and eat within a week or so.