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Pear, Lavender, and Vanilla Jam

This recipes was created by Kelsey and one of her Hosts as a part of her fieldwork in Coastal Otago. While staying with a Host family near Dunedin, the Hosts expressed an interest in developing a field-to-market product for gate sales and sale at the Otago Farmers Market. As it was mid-summer, their pear trees were overflowing with fruits and the Lavender surrounding their back deck was in bloom.


Given Kelsey's knowledge of preserving and canning, she suggested they experiment with a pear-based jelly that would be unique because it was infused with Lavender blossoms. They spent the next couple of days experimenting with the recipe, and ultimately settled on this version of it. 


1.5 kg pears (peeled and cored)
1.5 kg Jam Setting Sugar
2 vanilla pods, cut lengthways
1 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp lavender flowers (fresh, not dried, in full bloom)


  1. Peel and core the pears. Mash half the pears. Cut the rest into small cubes and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

  2. Put both the mashed and the cut pears together with the vanilla bean, apple juice, and sugar into a pot and cook for about 30 minutes. Remove vanilla pods.

  3. Check if the jam is thick enough by putting a spoonful of jam on the plate in the fridge; check it a couple of minutes later; if the jam wrinkles when nudged, it’s done.

  4. Clarify the jam with a nob of butter to remove impurities.

  5. Add lavender flowers and fold into jam.

  6. Pour jam into heated preserving jars, and seal with preferred method.

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