Pickled Pears | Great Dixter Cookbook | Burford Garden Company

Pickled Pears

Great Dixter is world famous for its beautiful garden - the perfect complement to the medieval manor house restored by architect Edwin Lutyens at the beginning of the 20th century. As the family home of the gardener and garden writer Christopher LLoyd, it is an extraordinary house with a truly wonderful vegetable garden and orchard. It is the latter which has inspired The Great Dixter Cookbook, a beautifully photographed tome celebrating homegrown seasonal produce.

Penned by Great Dixter's vegetable gardener and cook, Aaron Bertelsen, The Great Dixter Cookbook continues to nurture Lloyd's inspiring philosophy ('garden and kitchen, gardener and cook') through a collection of 70 sumptuous recipes, including these pickled pears. This recipe was actually given to Bertlesen by fellow head gardener of Gravetye Manor, Tom Coward, and is superb with blue cheese. Aaron's top tip: make sure you reduce the liquid well to intensify the flavour, and leave for a month before eating.

Makes 3 x 450g/1lb jars

PREPARATION: 15 minutes

COOKING: 20 minutes


900g/2 Ib pears, peeled, cored and sliced
425 ml/14½ fl oz (1¾ cups) apple cider vinegar
450 g/1 lb (2 cups) caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
10 cloves
thumb-size piece of stem ginger, sliced


Put all the ingredients into a pan with 850 ml/1½ pints (3½ cups) water and cook slowly until the pears start to soften, but only just (about 10 minutes). You want them to retain a bit of bite. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a colander and set aside to drain.

Meanwhile, increase the heat under the syrup left in the pan and boil rapidly for 15 minutes, or until it has reduced by about a third and thickened slightly. Pack the fruit into warm, sterilized jars and pour in enough hot syrup to cover. Seal immediately and store for a month before eating.

The Great Dixter Cookbook by Aaron BertelsenThe Great Dixter Cookbook by Aaron Bertelsen is published by Phaidon (£24.95).

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