Pickled Pears Recipe from The Great Dixter’s Cookbook

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.

15 Mins 20 Mins Serves 4

Image: Phaidon


  • 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.

Pickled Pears Recipe from The Great Dixter Cookbook

Recipe notes

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.

About this recipe

This Pickled Pears recipe is from The Great Dixter Cookbook: Recipes from an English Garden published by Phaidon.


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