Makes 2kg


·      500g granulated sugar

·      500ml white wine vinegar

·      Zest and juice of 1 orange

·      5cm piece ginger, sliced thin, skin on

·      3 bay leaves

·      1 tsp black peppercorn

·      1.5kg small ripe pears


1. Put the sugar, vinegar, orange zest and juice, ginger, bay leaves and peppercorns in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel, core and halve or quarter the pears, depending on size. Add the pears to the pan and poach gently for 10-15 minutes until they are just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and pack into warm sterilised jars with rubber seals.

3. Boil the vinegar mixture to reduce by a third, then pour over the pears, including the spices.
The pears need to be completely covered with the liquid. Fit the rubber seal and clamp the jar tightly closed. Reserve any leftover syrup for topping up the jars later, as the pears will absorb the syrup over time. Store for up to 2 months.