Hairy Bikers' pickled pears

(39 ratings)
The Hairy Biker's pickled pears
The Hairy Biker's pickled pears
  • Makes: 2 x 1½ lt jars

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Mid-price

"Perfect with roast partridge, or indeed a slice of Gammon or a bit of cheese. A proper Christmas pickle inspired by a meeting in a car park with the Godfather himself Antonio Carluccio."


  • 20 conference pears
  • 1lt white wine vinegar
  • ½lt water
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 large stick cinnamon, broken into three
  • 1tbsp allspice berries
  • Zest of a lemon cut into curls with a potato peeler.
  • ½tsp cloves
  • 1dsp juniper berries
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
You'll also need:
  • 2 x 1½lt Kilner jars

Once opened eat within two weeks.


  1. Peel the pears carefully leaving the stalk intact.
  2. In a large cast-iron or ceramic saucepan, place the water, vinegar, sugar, star anise, allspice berries, lemon zest, cloves and juniper berries. Bring to the boil, and add the pears then cover and simmer gently for about 10 - 15 mins until the pears are poached. Remove the pears and set aside.
  3. Boil the poaching liquor for about 5 mins to intensify the flavours.
  4. Meanwhile sterilise the jars. Either boil them in a pan or place them in the oven to kill any bugs. Remember to remove the rubber rings first.
  5. Pack six or seven pears into each jar, divide the liquor and pour into each jar. Make sure each jar has an even distribution of spices.
  6. Place a sprig of Rosemary into each jar.
  7. Seal tightly and store. They will be good to eat after a week and can be stored for up two months.
This recipe is taken from the Hairy Bikers' 12 days of Christmas special, BBC2 at 9pm, on Wednesday 16th December 2009.

This recipe is part of The Hairy Bikers' roast partridge with festive stuffing, fondant potatoes and pickled pears recipe.

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