chocolate | desserts | fruit | jam | pears | preserved foods | preserves | quick & easy

Dark chocolate & pear preserves.

November 19, 2013

Well, like I’ve told you before, I don’t like pears. As a matter of fact I downright DISLIKE them. I know, I know. I wanted to like them. But I don’t (just like how I desperately wanted to like oatmeal & soft-boiled eggs too…).

However this time of year I’m starting to think about what preserves, jellies & jams I’ll be gifting people for Christmas, and I happen to know a decent amount of folks who quite enjoy these oddly-shaped little fruits.

Bosc & Bartlett's ready to go into dark chocolate pear preserves.For some reason, this striped towel just reminds me of pears- is that weird?


When I happened upon gorgeous pears at my local market for .79¢ a pound, I knew I had to get them & use them up ASAP. For that price I could’ve gotten a gazillion- but again, I don’t like them. They were selling Bartlett, Bosc & Seckel all for the same low price. I got about 3 lbs. of a Bosc/Bartlett mix and it cost me less then $3.00. Amazing. Who says fruit has to be expensive?

Anyway… once I got them home I started looking in earnest for ways to use them in either baked goods or in relatively small-batch preserves/jams. My mother & I ended up making some pear fritters with 2 of them, however I knew the rest would have to be used sooner rather than later. I had made pear sauce with cardamom last year, and I wanted something a bit different than your average jam. I found this recipe over at Food In Jars & I knew it was the one. It’s adapted from an English book, Notes From the Jam Cupboard by Mary Tregellas. It’s a dark chocolate pear jam.

Or preserves, in my case.

Dark chocolate pear preserves.

According to Marisa at Food in Jars:

I’m certain that this jam will raise some safety flags for some of you out there, but according to the reading I’ve done, I believe it is safe for canning (I added a boiling water bath step that isn’t included in the book). Good dark chocolate (which is what I used) is made without the addition of milk solids, so there’s no dairy in this product. The amount of sugar in the recipe will help keep it safely preserved for some time.

There is some reason for caution on the pH front, though. Chocolate is quite low in acid. However, most pear varieties have enough acid for safe canning (though not asian pears) and the recipe includes the juice of two lemons. If using fresh lemons for acid balancing makes you uncomfortable, you can substitute bottled lemon juice (a medium lemon averages 3 tablespoons of lemon juice). When I made my batch, I added the juice of 2 1/2 lemons, which gave me a full half cup.

All that being taken into account: I used bottled lemon juice, and 100% Ghirardelli cacao (from this baking bar). I could’ve used any percentage over 70%, but know my mother enjoys very dark chocolate; I figured the extra, extra dark would be a nice contrast to the pears in addition to being the absolute safest chocolate option. Like I said, I used Bosc & Bartlett pears, so the acid level (especially with the lemon juice) was definitely more than decent. I also left my pears on the chunky side, & they didn’t quite cook down completely, so that’s the reason it’s more a preserve than a jam.

Ghirardelli 100% dark cacao for dark chocolate pear preserves.


Yield: 5-6 half pints (batches vary)


  • 2 1/2 pounds ripe pears (approximately 7-8 pears)
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 1/2 ounces good quality dark chocolate (70% minimum, higher is better)


  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 5-6 half pint jars.
  2. Peel, core and chop pears. Place them in a wide, non-reactive pan with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pears begin to soften and break down.
  4. While pears cook, chop chocolate and set aside.
  5. Once pears are quite soft, add sugar and cinnamon. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring regularly, until the jam reached 220 degrees F.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and scrape in the chocolate. Stir until it is fully melted.
  7. Funnel into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process for 10 minutes.
  8. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
  9. Once jars are fully cooled, test seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly. Sealed jars can be stored jars can be stored at room temperature for up to one year.

This is NOT your average jam. It’s a really decadent, dessert-like preserve. It’s more like a chocolate sauce you’d put on a cake or ice cream than a breakfast addition. But I’m sure if you enjoy sweets, then you’ll love it on toast or English muffins too!

Although I have to say, if you’re a fan of overnight oats, it might be amazing if you stirred some of this into it. Or, just plop it onto a bowl of fresh, hot oatmeal.

Dark chocolate pear preserves.

It also makes a fantastic gift for the holidays. Some of this in a pretty little Quattro Stagioni jar, with some fancy ribbon? Add a nice label or tag & you’re all good. Perfect.

More easy “Gifts in Jars” ideas:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebook Twitter Email

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing
    problems with your blog. It appears as if some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to
    them as well? This could be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this
    happen before. Appreciate it

  2. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along with your website in web explorer,
    might check this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge section of folks will pass over your great writing
    due to this problem.

  3. A person necessarily help to make severely articles I would state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and so far?
    I surprised with the research you made to create this
    actual post amazing. Fantastic job!

  4. I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering
    issues with your blog. It seems like some of the text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone
    else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well?

    This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve
    had this happen before. Cheers

  5. Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved
    account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing in your augment and even I success you get entry to consistently quickly.

  6. hi!,I really like your writing so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your article on AOL?
    I need an expert in this space to solve my problem.
    Maybe that’s you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

  7. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished
    to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog
    posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I
    hope you write again very soon!

  8. If you are going for finest contents like me, just go to
    see this website everyday as it offers feature contents, thanks

  9. No es infrecuente que la falta demantenimiento
    de elementos comunes de la comunidad de vecinos, como puede
    ser la fachada, acelere el proceso de degradación natural de exactamente la misma, dando sitio a costosas y reiteradas rehabilitaciones.

  10. whoah this weblog is fantastic i really like studying your articles.
    Stay up the great work! You know, lots of persons are looking round for
    this info, you can aid them greatly.

  11. I want to to thank you for this good read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it.
    I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

  12. I am actually happy to glance at this webpage posts which contains tons of valuable data, thanks for providing these kinds
    of statistics.

  13. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article
    or vice-versa? My site covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe
    we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an email.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  14. I will immediately take hold of your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription hyperlink or
    e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me know so that I may subscribe.

Comments are closed.