Tomato And Pear Relish

From: Preserving by Oded-Schwartz.

Makes four 500 ml jars of relish.

Notes: you will need a large boiling pan; the pan of a pressure cooker works well.  You will need to sterilize your jars first; look up how to do this (Milton is the fastest/simplest way).

Temporary funnel
                made of greaseproof paper
Wrapping jar in
First boil with
                lids very lightly tightened
Final boiling
                with tightened lids



  1. Put the tomatoes, pears, onions, celery, chillies, yellow mustard seeds, paprika and water into a large pan and boil for 20 minutes, or until the pear goes soft.
  2. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt and simmer for a few hours or until the volume has approximately halved, skimming off any scum that develops.
  3. Spoon the mixture into four sterilized jam jars; I made a temporary funnel from a piece of greaseproof paper to help with this (see first picture above).
  4. Put the lids on the jars but with very light hand pressure, so that they are not sealed; you want air to be able to escape.
  5. Wrap each jar around the base and three sides in a single sheet of tabloid newspaper folded in half (see second picture above).
  6. Empty and clean the large pan and place the jars in it so that the not-wrapped sides are outermost; you are going to all this effort to stop them bashing against each other or the bottom of the pan.
  7. Fill the pan with cold water to just below the lids of the jars.
  8. Slowly bring the water to the boil; you want to make sure the glass in the jars has sufficient time to conduct the heat evenly, or stresses in the glass will build up and cause cracks.
  9. Boil for 20 minutes.
  10. Use a tongs to lift out each jar by its lid and then oven gloves to grab the body of the jar; you might need help from an assistant to do this.
  11. Wearing the oven gloves, or maybe using a tea-towel between your hands and the jar, tighten the lids on all the jars.
  12. Put the jars back in the hot water; the paper will be mush by now but try to arrange it so that the jars have some paper between them.
  13. Using hot water from the tap (to avoid a temperature difference again), top up the water in the pan so that it is above the lids of the jars.
  14. Boil for a further 10 minutes.
  15. Leave the whole thing to cool down and remove the jars.
  16. Clean the soggy newspaper from the jars and label them with the name of the contents and the year; they should keep for two years.
  17. Wash the newsprint off everything else.

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