Container of halved pears with fresh lemons and sprinkled with cinnamon

Pear-Vanilla Jam


Pear-Vanilla Jam is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin.
Allison says: “Autumn is putting us through our paces this year. . . . All I really care about right now is making food that’s nourishing, delicious, and simple. Fortunately, this delicious jam fits the bill perfectly. Enjoy!”
Servings 5 cups


  • pounds ripe pears
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup lemon juice bottled
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin mixed with sweetener


  • Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
    To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
    Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
  • Peel pears and remove cores. Then, place pears in a large bowl and mash them thoroughly (a potato masher works well for this).
  • Measure out 4 cups of the mashed pear (you may have some left over; if so, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured amount of mashed pear into a large sauce pan.
  • Slice vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds (a paring knife works well for this). Add the vanilla seeds, along with the pod itself, to the mashed pear. Add the lemon juice and calcium water, then stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.
  • Bring the pear mixture up to rolling boil over high heat. Add sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat. Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.
  • Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
  • Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
  • Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove jars from canner.
  • Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

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11 Responses

  1. Lisa
    | Reply

    Can honey be subbed for the sugar?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      It sure can! You will use 1/2-1 cup of honey, maple syrup or agave.

  2. Judy
    | Reply

    Was this recipe tested in a lab kitchen to know that it is safe for canning?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Judy,

      Our recipes have not been tested in a lab. We, along with our Master Food Preservers, develop our recipes based on safe canning practices, but we do not offer any certifications/lab tested backing to any of our recipes.

      We only provide the recipes as a fun starting point for home canners using our pectin. The lemon juice/vinegar is present and calculated to balance the pH of the our recipes, to allow them to be safe for water-bath canning.

  3. Greg Lum
    | Reply

    May I ask what purpose step #10 serves? To let the jars sit in hot water for 5 minutes after boiling before removing?

  4. Kelly
    | Reply

    Okay to sub peaches for pears?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Kelly,

      Yes, pears and peaches are a direct conversion. Happy jamming!

  5. Nina
    | Reply

    Can I reduce the amount of sugar to about 1/2 cup?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Nina,

      You sure can, just be sure that the pectin is really well dispersed in that 1/2 cup of sugar and that you add it gradually to your hot fruit, stirring and dissolving between each addition until it is all incorporated.

      Happy jamming!

  6. Jolee
    | Reply

    Can you use vanilla extract in this recipe ?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Yes, you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in this recipe.

      Happy jamming!

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