Pears were on sale last week for really cheap, so we bought at least 30 pounds of pears and I made a lot of jam yesterday and today, and now I have a strange callous on my hand from paring so many pears. I did a bunch of pectin-free batches, and I did about 4 batches with the kind of pectin that uses less sugar. It all turned out well. The first couple of batches made with pectin set up really hard, I think because the pears were less ripe at first. I let them sit with a banana in a warm place for a day before doing the next ones with pectin. The pectin-free pear jam, unlike the pectin-free boysenberry jams I did a couple months ago, turned out a little more like syrup than jam, although some of the pectin-free jams set up more, depending again on the ripeness of the fruit. I was really excited to do some fun flavor combinations because pears are nice and mild and like being eaten with all sorts of spices. I have been planning on doing pear and ginger for a while, it's a combination that I experiment with every year during pear season (see my pear and ginger upside-down cake, recipe coming soon!). It is delicious, but the other combination I tried was even better: pear with cardamom. It is like heaven on a piece of toast, on a hotcake, mixed in with your oatmeal for breakfast, and probably warm over vanilla ice cream. I can't give you the recipe because I think I might start selling it. Yes, it is that good.