Pickled pears

Prep: 45 mins Plus a month storing


Makes enough to fill a 1-1.5 litre kilner jar
A stylish and gorgeous treat, spooned out of the jar with a little of the syrup

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 1 lemon or orange



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 10 cloves



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 2 tsp black peppercorn, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp allspice berries, lightly crushed
  • 5 cm piece fresh root ginger, sliced
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints cider or white wine vinegar



    Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Apple orchards were…

  • 2 cinnamon sticks



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 1kg bag caster sugar
  • 2kg small pears



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…


  1. Pare the zest from the lemon or orange and put in a pan with the cloves, peppercorns, allspice berries, root ginger, lemon or orange juice, vinegar, cinnamon sticks and sugar. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Peel, core and halve the pears, then add to the pan and simmer for 15 mins, until the pears are tender. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and put in a colander to drain. Meanwhile, increase the heat under the syrup and boil rapidly for 15 mins, until the syrup has reduced by about a third and slightly thickened.

  3. Pack the fruit into warmed jars and pour over the hot syrup to cover. Seal, label and store in a cool dry place for a month before using.

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Comments (21)

chez-ray's picture

I was a little disappointed how the recipe was written. Due to the vagueness of the list of ingredients which stated "cider or white wine vinegar", I now believe, on reflection, that I should have used cider vinegar and not pure cider.
Should I have made an error I now have 2 kg of spiced cider pears. Who knows, by accident, I may have developed a new pear accompliment for ginger cake or various desserts.

patriciaf's picture

These are amazing, wonderful on a bed of rocket with one of the sweet cheeses e.g. Wensleydale and ginger crumbled over and dressed with balsamic glaze. Perfect to use up a glut of pears.

laonie's picture

Absolutely stunning! I wasn't too keen on using 100% vinegar or 100% cider so I went with 2/3 pear cider and 1/3 apple cider vinegar and I'm glad I did. I left out the ginger because I didn't have any and substituted rosemary a la River Cottage. After packing the pears away into their jars, I found myself running my finger along the bottom of the saucepan like a kid, mopping up the last dregs of sweet, sour, herbacious syrup. I must say, the rosemary added a whole new element to the recipe and I will always add it from now on. I tasted one of the pears after 24 hours and had to stop myself devouring the entire jar. I'm going to make another two batches to give as Christmas gifts.

ali2166's picture

Not too sure about this one .found the vinegar overpowered. Everything very strong smell and taste .had loads of extra syrup left over as well .might improve with age I hope .

woody36's picture

Totally delicious! The syrup is amazing and the pears only seem to improve with age - I made my first batch about 2 months ago and they are just getting better and better! We've enjoyed these with good sliced ham, homemade chicken liver parfait and they are fab with cheese and biscuits - particularly anything blue and creamy - YUM!

quiver13's picture

Made to give as Xmas pressies - didn't have all spice so used some nutmeg and star annise - syrup is lovey - hope I can keep them till Xmas!

hjmalpas's picture

Gave as gifts last year and went down a storm - so much so the kilner jars were returned to me to be filled again this year!!! Yummy. The bags of 'fun size' pears you get at supermarkets for kids lunchboxes are a perfect size. Easy to make & great as a starter with pate or potted stilton.

tbilisi's picture

Eat them with cold meat. Yum.

teresahall's picture

What do you eat them with

dghannah's picture

Nutrition per serving 4553kcal?
How big is the serving?

chicken83's picture

made this yesterday for xmas presents, tastes fantastic, syrup is lovely! will definitely be making more of this!

markmcconville's picture

Hi Sara - try juniper berries instead of allspice...

bottimus's picture

Hi. I am about to make these for the first time but i am struggling to find allspice berries - can anyone help or suggest something to use instead?? thank you!

d41d0y's picture

forgot to rate! 5 stars, no probs!

d41d0y's picture

I made this as a gift today and am seriously considering making another, larger batch for personal use as the syrup smells and tastes amazing!

angeldrawers's picture

Absolutely delish. I used white wine instead of vinegar.

sylvia1178's picture

how many jars does this make roughly?

pjrome's picture

I made these last year, and am about to start again. No idea about shelf life as they were all eaten so quickly, they didn't even make it to Christmas! Really yummy, and incredibly easy.

rbmeals's picture

I made this a few years ago from the good food mag, to go with my Christmas goose. Fantastic. I am about to make it again as the pears in my garden are good this year.
I always seal the jars while they are still hot because a) There will be less air (it is denser of cold) b) it helps create a better seal. This helps to preserve it. As for shelf life no idea - mine didn't make it past Christmas!

holmfirth's picture

sounds yummie :), but pleaseeeeeeeee tell us how long the shelf life is on recipes like this, pleaseeeeeeeee :(


Questions (3)

chez-ray's picture

Should I use pure dry cider or cider vinegar as the recipe does not make it absolutely clear?

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for your question, you need to use cider vinegar in this recipe. Sorry for the confusion.

i_love_my_food_61's picture

I love the sound of this - but how long will it keep, does anyone know?

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