Roasted pears, two types of grapes, vanilla, and rum. Autumn in a jar. This jam is really rich and flavourful, but not overly sweet, or overly strong in taste. Roasted pears are sweet and mellow in taste, and the grapes are fresh and almost a tad sour. A perfect blend to spread on a piece of toast for a breakfast on a cold wintery morning. This jam can be poured into small jars and given as an edible gift around Christmas. And, if you want to make it extra special, add a square or two of really good quality dark chocolate.
500 grams black grapes
500 grams red grapes
500 grams pears
200 grams granulated sugar
300 grams jam sugar (2:1)
120 ml lemon juice
¼ vanilla bean
½ tablespoon dark rum
Start by oven roasting the pears. Cut the pears in half and place them on a piece of aluminium foil large enough to loosely wrap them. Place the wrapped pears on a large baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for about 30 minutes or so, until they are tender. Once baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely. This step can be done even a whole day in advance.
When the pears are cold and ready, peel them and remove any pips or tough parts. Wash the grapes and place them in a large blender, along with 120 ml of cold water and the pears. Blend until completely pureed. Transfer the blend to a mash strainer and strain all the juice from the mixture. Take your time with this step; you want as much juice extracted as possible. Discard any pips and grape skins that stay in the strainer.
Place the mixture into a large pot with a heavy bottom, add the lemon juice, scraped seeds from a quarter of a vanilla bean, and the granulated sugar. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes (up to 30 minutes, depending on your stove), until the mixture reduces by a third and becomes smooth and thicker. Add the jam sugar and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes. Once done, remove the jam from the stove and add the rum. Pour the still hot jam into sterilized jars and store in a cold, dark place. Yields 750 grams.