Bob’s Pickled Pears

Photo Credit Robert Stafford


Bob lives in Friendship, Maine. Bob loves food.

He does many things well, so I wasn’t really that surprised to taste some fantastic pickled pears and learn that he had prepared them.

They were served with toasted walnuts and a good Bleu on an inspired chessboard one evening at dinner at their ocean view home. An invitation to Bob and Patience’s lovely home for dinner never ever disappointed. Good wine, good conversation, great food and always some incredible handmade elements are their signatures . Luck to have their friendship…in Friendship!

Like these pickled Bosc pears, good things are often worth the wait, these delicacies fall into that category. Not that hard to make, it’s more like waiting for a good pear season. Those seem to come every other year or so.

When it rains, it pours pears, at least here in the mid-coast where often old farmsteads had a few fruit trees, usually apples and pears. Pear trees are distinctive in their upright profile, quite different from other fruit trees. I am lucky enough to have one in my yard which is laden with fruit this year! So….let’s pickle some pears!


Save some of these for your charcuterie plates or to accompany game or fowl at festive meals.Good with a pork chop!

6 pounds of small firm pears, peeled and cored
2 tb whole cloves
6 star anise pods
4 cinnamon sticks
1 large knob ginger peeled and sliced thin
3 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
2.5 cups sugar, white
1 cup brown sugar

Dash of salt
Tie all spices into a small muslin bag.
In a large stainless steel pot, mix together the water, sugars and salt and cinnamon sticks and spice bag…bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 7 minutes.
Add the pears in batches, one layer at a time, cooking until barely tender, 12 minutes or so.
Once the pears are all cooked transfer them to smaller Mason jars or one larger glass gallon jug(s).
Pour the hot pickling liquid over them and make sure to add another cinnamon stick and star anise to each.
Clean up any drips for a clean edge being sure to leave some headspace it you are actually canning these in a hot water bath. I use many at a time in my catering work, so I put mine up in large glass jars and refrigerate them cool, capping tightly.

These also make a dandy Holiday gift…always a welcome addition to the table or larder!


Laura Cabot