Hairy Bikers' pickled pears recipe

(250 ratings)

Served The Hairy Bikers' pickled pears with the boys' roast partridge with festive stuffing from the boys' new BBC2 Christmas special, The Twelve Days of Christmas

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Five A DayOne

"Perfect with roast partridge, or indeed a slice of Gammon or a bit of cheese. A proper Christmas pickle inspired by a meeting in a car park with the Godfather himself Antonio Carluccio."


  • 20 conference pears
  • 1lt white wine vinegar
  • ½lt water
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 large stick cinnamon, broken into three
  • 1tbsp allspice berries
  • Zest of a lemon cut into curls with a potato peeler.
  • ½tsp cloves
  • 1dsp juniper berries
  • 3 sprigs rosemary

You'll also need:

  • 2 x 1½lt Kilner jars




  1. Peel the pears carefully leaving the stalk intact.
  2. In a large cast-iron or ceramic saucepan, place the water, vinegar, sugar, star anise, allspice berries, lemon zest, cloves and juniper berries. Bring to the boil, and add the pears then cover and simmer gently for about 10 - 15 mins until the pears are poached. Remove the pears and set aside.
  3. Boil the poaching liquor for about 5 mins to intensify the flavours.
  4. Meanwhile sterilise the jars. Either boil them in a pan or place them in the oven to kill any bugs. Remember to remove the rubber rings first.
  5. Pack six or seven pears into each jar, divide the liquor and pour into each jar. Make sure each jar has an even distribution of spices.
  6. Place a sprig of Rosemary into each jar.
  7. Seal tightly and store. They will be good to eat after a week and can be stored for up two months.
Top Tip for making Hairy Bikers' pickled pears

Once opened eat within two weeks.

Hairy Bikers

Simon King and David Myers are the fantastic duo that make up the Hairy Bikers and are best known as Si and Dave. The Hairy Bikers have several cookbooks published including How to Love Food and Lose Weight and Eat for Life. Hairy Biker recipes are always triple tested and try to be as fuss-free as possible so you can trust the timings. Si and Dave have also had several hit cooking shows as they remain as one of the UK’s favourite cookery duos.