Not knowing any better, I went out and bought myself a nice plump ginger root, only to discover that all of the recipes out there call for candied ginger rather than fresh. Rather than dashing out to buy the candied variety, I opted to experiment with what I had.
Since I've never tasted the original version, I can't really compare the two, but what I ended up with tasted absolutely wonderful. Everyone kept sneaking into the kitchen all evening to steal a taste from the partial jar that's in the fridge.
Pear Ginger Jam:
- 4 cups chopped pears
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 of a cup of finely minced fresh ginger root
- 1 package of pectin
- 7 cups of sugar
Put the pears into a pot and mash (or take an immersion blender to the jam after it's cooked a bit, taking care not to splash yourself). Add lemon juice and ginger; bring to a boil. Add pectin. Slowly stir in sugar. Cook until jam sheets off of the back of a spoon. Ladle into sterile jars and process (about 15 minutes for 1/2 pint jars).
The jam tastes like a really delicious, ripe pear, but with a hint of gingery warmth. It would be great used in all the regular ways one uses jam, but I'm thinking it might also be nice used as a glaze for fish (mixed with a little tamari, maybe?). My favorite way of eating it so far is straight off the spoon.