Cook: Pir Gam. That is, Pear Jam. Failsafe

Cook: Pir Gam. That is, Pear Jam. Failsafe

Jam is an essential part of the English food tradition. Without it, what can we possibly put on our toast, wiggs or gluten free muffins and scones?

Good Things In England has a few things to say about Pears.

While my children are trying the FAILSAFE diet to help their mood and behaviour (to GREAT success so far), we’re making jars and jars of Pear Jam, Pear being the only fruit they can eat.

I’ll delve further into Florence White’s alternative recipes another day soon. I have a couple of others I’ve gathered from ancient books in the British Library also. Including one for preserving pears that seems to take days, involve at least three cooking periods and more than double the weight of the pears in sugar, by the end of it all. I won’t worry about sharing that one, especially as I’m not sure one could even taste the pears anymore, with all that sugar! It must have been just for the very wealthy…or a Christmas treat alongside the Sugar Mice.

Elodie proudly wrapped a Christmas present early in December, placed it under the Christmas tree with my name on it. I wasn’t sure what it was, labelled FRAGILE.  Christmas morning, this is what I found within.

Pir Gam Gar from Elodie. Please Fill Me.

Pir Gam Gar from Elodie. Please Fill Me.

A new batch of Pir Gam was officially ordered.

Here’s what Elodie and I did.

In order to make FAILSAFE jam, we can’t use peel or citrus. I use as little sugar as possible, which is why I add the agar agar, to help the jam to set. Sugar is part of the preserving process of the jam, however, as we get through a jar a week, and I only make 3 jars at a time, we don’t need to worry too much. In this day and age, we can buy pears all year round.

I used the Friendly Food Cookbook and the Fedup cook book in first making Pear Jam, so this recipe is based on theirs.

Pir Gam

Pir Gam – jar now full.


  • 8 ripe Rocha Pears, peeled and cored (or whichever pears you prefer)
  • 1 cup jamsetting sugar (with pectin)
  • 1 tsp citric acid
  • 1 tbsp agar agar

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins


  1. Turn the oven onto 100° and place your jam jars and lids within for about 15 minutes to sterilise.
  2. Pare the pears, cut into pieces and put them directly into a saucepan on a medium heat.
  3. Cook the pears for about 5 minutes. The juices will start to flow.
  4. Add the sugar and cook for about five to ten minutes on a medium low heat, without stirring too much once the sugar is dissolved, letting it bubble undisturbed.
  5. Add the citric acid and stir again briefly.
  6. Sprinkle the agar agar on top and let is dissolve.
  7. Quickly stir in the dissolved agar agar and pour immediately into your jars. Leave to cool without shaking or disturbing it while it sets. Store in a cool place and keep in the fridge once opened.
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