Earlier this fall, a dear friend of mine became a homeowner. Her new bit o’earth is a lovely place – it boasts an old flower garden, a bountiful floor of lemon balm, and three big old pear trees! As she was in the middle of renovations and moving in, most of the pears were going to waste and to wasps as they fell on the ground.
I begged the assistance of the 11-year old who was hanging out with me, and together we gleaned three or four plastic bags full of ripe pears!
Because I am a boozy pixie, the very first thing that I made with those pears was a lovely cordial. My resident taste-tester promises that this is the best cordial that I’ve made yet! Well. Isn’t that sweet?
First, chop the pears. I left the skin on mine, as it gives a nice little bit of bitterness and lends itself to a fuller flavored cordial. Set aside the cores and discarded parts to make vinegar (post coming soon!).
Add a handful of chopped pears to a large mason jar. Cover that with a teaspoon of sugar. Repeat until the jar is full. Or two jars. However much you want to make is entirely up to you!
Put a lid on the jars and let them sit for a while. The sugar brings the juice out of the fruit, and the overall effect is worth the extra wait.
Cover the pears with vodka, label them with the contents and date. Don’t be like me and write “Plum Cordial” or you’ll be confused, bemused, and amused when you retrieve them from the cabinet in a month or so. I started the cordials on August 14, and strained them in the second week of October.
Shake the jar up before you strain the cordial to make sure all of the sugar has dissolved completely. Use muslin, cheesecloth, or a mesh strainer to keep out the pear chunks.
Put your tasty cordial in clean, sanitized bottles.
Label them well, and give them as gifts (or hoard them like you know you want to, you booze dragon, you). A lovely bottle of this cordial was given as a housewarming gift to my dear friend who told me that I can return every year to glean as many pears as I wish!