Pack these pears in attractive bulbous or spherical jars that will accommodate the shape of the fruit (right; search for ‘orcio’ jars in the shops). Choose pears with a nice rounded bottom so they sit comfortably in the jar.

These golden pears are for serving with cheese but they are also good on any cold platter, particularly with cured meats, such as ham and salami. Alternatively, you can pair them with creamy vanilla ice cream for a resplendent pud.

Use up an autumn pear glut with this easy golden pear recipe by Pam the Jam - perfect with cheese or as a pud with ice cream or a dollop of cream.


  • 200ml White wine vinegar
  • 100g Honey
  • A pinch of saffron, crushed
  • 6 Cardamon pods, crushed
  • 4 Pink peppercorns
  • 800ml Water
  • 4 Bay leaves


  • STEP 1

    Sterilise your jars and twist-on lids in a water bath, simmering for 10 minutes before turning off the heat. Leave in the pan until ready to fill.

  • STEP 2

    Put the vinegar, honey, saffron, cardamom and peppercorns in a wide shallow pan along with the measured water and bring to simmering point. Peel and halve the pears, and remove their cores by scooping around the centre with a teaspoon. (You can leave the stalks on one of the halves for decoration, if you like.) Gently place the pear halves cut side uppermost in the pan.

  • STEP 3

    Cover the pan and poach the pears for about 10 minutes, spooning over the liquid every so often, until they are nearly cooked but still firm. You don’t want them to be floppily soft.

  • STEP 4

    Using tongs, carefully lift the jars from the water bath and put them on a wooden surface or folded tea towel.

  • STEP 5

    Using a slotted spoon, pack the pears into the jars then tuck the bay leaves down the side of the jar. Strain the spices from the liquid and return the liquid to the pan. Bring to the boil for a couple of minutes then pour over the pears, filling to the brim. Seal immediately.

  • STEP 6

    Immerse the sealed jars in the water bath and bring to a simmer for five minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the pan and leave to cool on a folded tea towel.

  • STEP 7

    Leave for a couple of weeks before eating and store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to nine months. Keep in the fridge once opened and use within four weeks.

Spiced pear pud

Serve a couple of pickled pear halves with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with a scattering of lightly toasted and salted walnuts. Toast the walnuts by placing in a dry frying pan over a gentle heat for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to toast them evenly. Season with a little sea salt.