From The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook: Garden-Fresh Recipes Rediscovered and Adapted for Today’s Kitchens, by Fania Lewando (Schocken); photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooling Time: 12 hours Cook Time: 9 minutes
Editor’s Note: This recipe comes from a Yiddish-language cookbook that was originally published in 1938 in what was then called Vilna, in Lithuania. The author perished in the Holocaust, but her book was recently rediscovered, translate and updated for modern audiences, and published by Schocken. We are reproducing the recipe as it appears in the book, in the format used at the time of its publication, with notes from our own Test Kitchen.
Editor’s Note: Like most cookbooks published before World War II, this one incorporated ingredients into the instructions. See below.
Peel and core 6 pounds firm pears, cut each pear lengthwise into quarters, and cook 10 minutes, in just enough water to cover. Then take them out and allow to cool. Cook 6 cups strong vinegar with 4½ cups sugar and 5 cloves, until sugar is dissolved, and pour over the pears. Allow to stand 24 hours. Then cook 20 minutes, and allow to cool. Pour into glass jars, wrap in parchment paper, and store in a cool, dry place.
From the Test Kitchen
- Peel 3 to 4 (about 1½ pounds) large pears. Cut lengthwise into quarters. Place in a nonreactive pot and just enough water to cover. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes for ripe pears (3 to 4 minutes for not-so-ripe pears) until softened but still intact. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large jar or plastic container.
- Combine 1½ cups of cider vinegar, 1¼ cups sugar and 3 whole cloves in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool completely.
- Pour the liquid over the pears, cover, and refrigerate overnight before serving.