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[Photograph: Lucy Baker]

This year's pears are fat, juicy, and incredibly flavorful. For this recipe I paired them (no pun intended) with fresh rosemary and just a bit of sugar. The results are fruity, herbaceous, and mildly sweet. This jam would be perfect slathered on a ham sandwich, or alongside any holiday cheese plate.

I love apples, figs, and cranberries, but when it comes to fall fruits, nothing compares to a succulent, perfectly ripe pear bursting with juice that dribbles down your chin. Pears are a natural candidate for preserves, and in the coming weeks I'll highlight a few more terrific holiday recipes, but I wanted to start off with one of my favorites.

The combination of pears and earthy, woodsy rosemary in this jam is pure magic. I used Pomona's pectin (which can be found in many supermarkets and also at pomonapectin.com) and only a small amount of sugar to let the natural sweetness of the pears really shine through. Since I adore rosemary, I used two heaping teaspoons, but feel free to dial it back a bit if you prefer. Don't worry if your jam looks a little runny at first. It can take up to 24 hours for it to set completely.

This jam is a natural choice for holiday gifts. It looks gorgeous and festive in the jar, and the uses for it are endless. My favorite way to eat it is paired with a gooey piece of cheese and a hunk of baguette, but it would be equally delicious on buttery scones, or tucked into a sandwich.

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Rosemary Pear Jam »

About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.

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