Pickled Asian Pears with Lemon
Developed by cookbook author Karen Solomon, this tangy, piquant Asian pear pickle tastes great on its own, on a chicken sandwich, in an arugula salad, or paired with blue cheese. If you can’t find Asian pears, any kind of pear can be subbed in here; just look for specimens that are on the small side and rather firm.
- Zest of 1 lemon, cut 2″ pieces
- 5 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. pickled ginger
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. mirin
- 2 lb. Asian pears (about 2 large), or any sweet, firm pear, peeled, cut into 1 1/2″ wedges, and cored
- Combine lemon zest, juice, ginger, sugar, salt, vinegar, and mirin in a 2-qt. saucepan; set aside. Bring another 2-qt. saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add pears, reduce heat to medium, and cook until pears turn white and are just cooked through and fork-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a sterilized 32-oz. jar; set aside.
- Bring brine to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour over pears, covering completely. Screw on resealable lid and follow “Canning with a Boiling Water Bath” procedure. Cool completely and store for up to 1 year if processed in a water bath, or 2 weeks if simply jarred and stored in the fridge. (The pears are ready to eat in 3 days, but taste even better after 5. They will keep their flavor for about a month in the refrigerator, but the color will begin to change after about 2 weeks.)