The pears need about a month to absorb the brandy. Make a few jars before Thanksgiving to give for Christmas.
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, (about 2 lemons)
- 5 1/2 pounds Seckel pears, (about 20)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 cups brandy
Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water, and add lemon juice. Peel pears as carefully and smoothly as possible, leaving stems attached. Place pears in water as they are peeled.
Combine sugar, cinnamon sticks, and 3 quarts water in a large stockpot. Drain pears, and add to pot. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until just tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 30 minutes, depending on size and ripeness.
Remove pears from liquid with a slotted spoon, and divide evenly among three quart jars.
Raise heat under pot to high, and cook liquid until reduced to 2 cups, about 50 minutes. Remove from heat; strain liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl. Divide the liquid evenly among the jars, and add about 1 cup brandy, or enough to cover pears, to each. Allow jars to cool, and screw on lids. Refrigerate for several weeks before eating to allow flavors to develop.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 1994