Pints packed with Clove-Studded Seckel Pears in a spiced vinegar-based syrup.
I stumbled upon a heckuva deal at Metropolitan Market the other day.
Local just-picked Seckel Pears, $1.99 lb!
According to the sign, this is $2.00/lb off the regular price. I am ashamed to admit I have paid even more than $3.99/lb for them in moments of weakness. My excuse? I can't resist them! Their rosy cheeks and diminutive size make them so adorable. If you find them very fresh, and treat them right, they are worth every penny, and then some.
Three pounds of Seckel Pears with a golf ball, for scale.
Pears are studded with whole cloves, then poached with spices in syrup.
Pack Seckel Pears into hot jars, and fill with filtered syrup.
Beautiful preserved* in jars....
....or just in a bowl by themselves.
...and hurry...the Seckel Pears are still on sale for 6 more days!
* The pints of Spiced Pickled Seckel Pears in these photos were processed in a Boiling Water Bath for 10 minutes. There was minimal shrinkage when they cooked, no color change and no splitting of the skins. They are sealed & shelf-stable but I would plan to eat them within 6-8 weeks, or they begin to shrivel. It doesn't affect their flavor, but they don't look as good.
More Seckel Pears!
However this next recipe, for Seckel Pears in Cranberry Syrup is quite a bit different than the Spiced Pickled Seckel Pears (SPSP for short).
These are neither spiced, nor pickled. They are not studded with whole cloves. And they are peeled. More importantly perhaps: this is not a one-day project.
One pound of Seckel Pears...all peeled but the one in the middle, of course.
Instead of the sweet-tangy-spiced vinegar brine, they are in a delectable thick syrup made from fresh cranberries, sugar and fresh lemon juice, and it takes 3 days to make these (not an hour, like the SPSP).
Day 1: Cook peeled pears in syrup made from fresh cranberries and sugar.
Day 2: Add more sugar to the syrup, and cook the pears a second time.
Day 3: Repeat process of adding sugar to syrup and cooking again (but this time, add a squeeze of fresh lemon to brighten the cranberry flavors.)
Then seal in jars using the Boiling Water Bath method.
I realize I didn't show the exact recipe here. My intention was to show the versatility of Seckel pears. I hope to add a printable recipe for this in the future.