My mother-in-law's step mother (her biological mother died when she was a baby)was an excellent cook and taught her how to cook good food at an early age. After she became my wonderful mother-in-law and friend she passed many things on to me. Letting the chopped pears for Pear Preserves set over night in sugar was an important step. She covered her dishpan with a clean piece of an old sheet. They saved and shared everything. Hard times but peaceful times when "Love Thy Neighbor" was a necessary and honorable thing to do. We have lost so much of the honorable quality of life from back then.
1Peel, core, and slice pears into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces, then measure out 8 cups.
2In a stock pot mix pears with the 5 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Gently combine all. Let set in pot over night, cover with light towel or single layer of sheeting material.
3Next morning, put stock pot of pears on med/low stove burner. Stir gently to mix. Juices from pears, lemon juice, and sugar will have made a liquid over night. Bring to a low boil. Turn down to simmer and cook slowly 3 to 4 hours or until pears are clear and pink and syrup thickens. More sugar may be added once cup at a time during last part of cooking process until desired thickness is reached. Be careful not to add too much sugar, just gently stir often and observe.
4Have jars and lids sterlized in boiling water. 8 1/2 pint jars and 8 lids. Leave on simmer.
5When desired doneness is reached, remove from heat; stir in brown sugar, ginger,allspice, and nutmeg.
6Fill sterlized jars to 1/2 inch of top, wipe off rim of jar with a wet cloth to remove any syrup that may have dripped on rim. Top with lids and rings, tighten firmly.
7Process jars in boiling water 10 minutes to seal, (water should be heating while filling jars). Store in cool, dry, place away from direct light. Makes about seven 1/2 pint jars.