I bought some great pears at the local farmers’ market a week ago, and decided to make spiced pear paste which is delicious with cheese. It was incredibly easy to make.
600g pears, finely chopped or processed (around 500g peeled and cored)
Juice of a large lemon or lime
Spices of your choice, I used a piece of cinnamon stick, six cloves and a small piece of star anise – all wrapped in a muslin, or use a pinch of each spice straight into the pan
Place the pears in a large pan with the sugar, spices and juice, and heat until the sugar is dissolved. If the pears were chopped instead of processed, mash them down at this point. Bring to the boil and allow to cook until the mixture thickens and darkens. This will take around 10 minutes, but watch it carefully as mine started to catch on the bottom. When slightly cooled (but only a few minutes or it will set in the pan), pour the paste into small jars or into a pan lined with paper and cut into squares. If you want to keep it for any length of time, sealed jars are the best choice.