Preserved: Chocolate Pear Jam
I am a firm believer that chocolate counts as a breakfast food. Growing up, my favorite thing to eat on the way to school was a chocolate donut from the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, with its thick, cakey interior and flaky sugar glaze. These days I'll often pair my cup of coffee with a slice of toast slathered with Nutella, and when it comes to Sunday morning pancakes, nothing beats chocolate chip.
So when I saw the recipe for Chocolate Pear Jam in Mary Tregellas' book, Homemade Preserves & Jams, I knew I had to make my own version immediately. Chocolate recipes that are safe for canning are hard to come by. This one works because of the generous amount of lemon juice, and relatively large ratio of sugar to fruit (don't worry, the end result isn't overly sweet). Also, be sure to use a very dark chocolate without milk listed in the ingredients (I like Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Bar).
To give the recipe my own spin, I added a big splash of amaretto. I love the flavor combination of rich chocolate, juicy pear, and nutty almond. I also used Pomona's pectin to shorten the cooking time and ensure a perfect set. If you prefer not to use pectin, simply simmer the jam until it reaches 220°F on a candy thermometer—the temperature at which jams jell.
This jam would make even rice cakes taste like an indulgent treat, but I especially enjoy it with warm brioche or crumbly butter scones.
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About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets and Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son, and dachshund.