Pear Chips

Charlestonians still refer to their preserves of chopped pears or pumpkins as “chips.” Chips appear with biscuits and sour cream or alongside grilled fowl, and, as the Junior League suggests in Charleston Receipts, they are “delicious on ice cream.”

If you’re using very hard pears, poach them first in water until tender, then use the cooking water to make the sugar syrup.


  • 1 quart water or pineapple juice
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 pounds pears, peeled, seeded, and uniformly “chipped” (chopped)
  • 2 unpeeled lemons, seeded and thinly sliced


Make a syrup by boiling the water and sugar together in a heavy- bottomed nonreactive pot for 5 minutes. Add the pears and lemons and cook at a low boil until the pears are transparent and the syrup thickens, anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, depending on the pears. Pack in sterilized jars and seal. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or store in the refrigerator.