I have six pears, some lemons and some oranges so it is the perfect time to make Pear Marmalade. This recipe was contributed by Mrs. E. Bricker for the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I’m always curious about marmalades that use ingredients other than oranges and lemons.
I am making half the recipe so I prepared six pears. I cut off the top and bottom of each and sliced it in half and then scooped out the core portion. Then I started slicing each half thinly. I did the same with one lemon and one orange. Next I weighed the fruit. It came to 2 pounds 10 ounces. I added the same weight of sugar (nearly all the bag). Everything went into a pot to start cooking. Although pound for pound of sugar to fruit is very common with preserves from this era I suspect this is going to be very sweet.
Ellen Roselia Cook married Ephraim Bricker in 1868. The 1901 census shows the couple living with their 30-year-old daughter Laura and 15-year-old son Gordon plus a 13-year-old domestic servant named Sophia Schindelmoyer. Everyone is listed as of German heritage except for Rose (Ellen) who is English. Ephraim works in a livery stable and Laura is a clerk in a dry goods store. Ephraim is also a town councillor. He’s been involved in politics for many years and had several different occupations and religions. He was born into the Mennonite faith but has also been a Methodist and Presbyterian. He’s worked as a farmer and a blacksmith. This means that Rose has likely had some changes in her life too along with being the mother of five children. In 1911 there were two male lodgers and one female lodger living with the couple at their home on 17 Ahrens Street in Berlin. Mr. and Mrs. Bricker are of German ancestry and Presbyterian religion according to this census. Two of the lodgers are Scots and the other is German. At 61 Ephraim is retired and the two male lodgers are the manager of Union Bank and a traveller for a boot & shoe company while the female lodger is a milliner. Sixty year old Rose (Ellen) is listed without an occupation. The Waterloo Region Generations website has a picture of Ellen Roselia http://generations.regionofwaterloo.ca/getperson.php?personID=I12639&tree=generations She was the eleventh child in a family of thirteen (11 girls and 2 boys).
After the required 25 minutes of boiling, the lemon and orange rind were still hard but the pear was quite soft. I decided to let it cook just a little longer in hopes that the texture of the citrus would change a little more. I had to stop after 10 minutes in case the pear disintegrated. The marmalade is quite sweet but the citrus and pear flavours are there too. If I make this again I will pre cook the lemon and orange rind before adding the sugar and pear to get the texture I like best. However, this does bring up two questions. Was this the texture intended in 1906 or are the lemons and oranges today different and therefore affect the result. The orange I used was a large navel orange and they have very thick skins. Perhaps lemons have thicker skins today as well.
12 medium-sized pears, 2 large sweet oranges, 2 lemons slice very fine and mix together, then add pound to pound sugar, boil 25 minutes