The inspiration for this jam came while vacationing in the south of France a few years ago. My husband and I had rented a cottage with a small kitchen so that I could shop at the local farmers’ market and experiment in the kitchen – a dream vacation for me!
It was late September and the extraordinarily fragrant little Poires William (the ones used to make the famous brandy) were flooding the market’s stalls. I couldn’t resist, I bought an entire basket of them. When I returned to our cottage the little rosemary bush outside the front door caught my attention, and in a flash, the idea for this recipe came into my mind.
I made the jam that very day and served it with an assortment of local goat cheeses at different stages of ripeness. Needless to say, we ate every last morsel of both the jam and the cheeses!
In the US the closest pear we have to the ambrosial Poire William is the Bartlett pear. Buy the Bartletts when they’re still firm and let them ripen for a day or two before making the jam. This will intensify their fragrance while insuring that they do not become over-ripe.
Here are a few cheeses I recommend serving with this jam: Petit Billy (a tangy, fresh goat cheese), Humboldt Fog (the famous bloomy cheese from Cypress Grove), Crottin de Chavignol (dense, rustic, tangy), and a goat blue.
But make no mistake; this pear jam is also sublime on its own!
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Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.