Pickled pears

These are perfect with cold cuts, or try them sliced into slivers in a salad
with walnuts, crispy bacon, baby leaves and a mustard-spiked vinaigrette

- Vegetarian 

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: 1 litre jar


450g granulated sugar
400ml cider vinegar
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice berries
1 small cinnamon stick, broken in half
4 pared strips lemon zest
750g small pears, peeled and left whole, with their stalks still attached
2 rosemary sprigs 


1 In a large, heavy-based pan, stir together the sugar, vinegar, spices and lemon zest and slowly bring to the boil.

2 Add the pears and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the rosemary sprigs and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the fruits are just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears, rosemary and spices to a sterilised jar (see tip below). Return the pickling liquid to the heat and bubble away for 5 minutes, uncovered.

3 Pour over the pears then seal the jar. When cold, store for up to 2 months in a cool, dark place. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within 2 weeks.