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Pear Butter Recipe

Pear Butter Recipe

Our good friend Robert recently hooked us up with over 20 pounds of fresh pears (thank you Robert!).  This is way more than we can eat fresh so Marshall and I have been experimenting with all kinds of pear recipes.  Below is the recipe for a killer pear butter we made.  It’s silky smooth, sweet and perfectly spiced.  It’s straight forward to make and fills your entire house with the rich smells of fall.  The flavor is excellent and it’s really getting me excited about the change of season.  This one is definitely a keeper!

Pear Butter

Yields about 1 ½ quarts/6  half pints (may be a bit more or less depending on how much you let it reduce down)

Ingredients

  • 15-20 medium sized pears, any type (about 6-7 lbs)
  • 1 oz fresh ginger (about an inch or so)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (or 1-2 teaspoons ground)
  • 10 whole allspice berries (or 1/4 – ½ teaspoon ground)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sweet white wine (or apple juice)
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Peel, core and chop pears into roughly 1 inch cubes.  Peel the ginger and cut it into quarters.
  • Tie the ginger, cinnamon and allspice in a piece of cheesecloth (you can add them directly to the pot but the cheesecloth makes them much easier to fish out)
  • Add pears, water, wine, sugar, lemon juice, zest, vanilla and salt into a dutch oven or other heavy pot.  Stir to mix and add your spice bundle.
  • Turn heat to high and bring to a rolling boil.  Once it boils, reduce heat to low or medium low and simmer with the pot uncovered (this allows water to evaporate which thickens the butter and intensifies the flavor.  It also however, makes it more likely to stick to the bottom.  Stir at least once an hour to prevent burning).
  • Your pear butter is done when the mixture thickens, the pear pieces start to fall apart and the color is noticeably darker.  The longer you cook, the thicker and more flavorful the butter.  I recommend about 3-4 hours of cooking time (see note on cooking time below).
  • Remove the spices and puree the mixture in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender if you have one.  If you don’t mind some chunks you can simply use a potato masher.
  • Pour the butter into mason jars, cap and enjoy! Keeps in the fridge for about 3 weeks.

Note:

  • Cooking Time – You can cook this butter for as little as 1 hour and still get a tasty spread.  However, it’ll be less rich in flavor and more liquid in consistency.  If you want to cook 2 hours or less, I suggest reducing the water to 1 cup.  Alternately, you can cook it longer than 4 hours for a very thick, rich pear butter.  If you choose a longer cooking time, watch it carefully at the end.  It burns much easier once thickened and has to be stirred every 15 minutes or so.
  • Substitution – You can substitute an equal amount of apples for pears (or a combination of the two) in this recipe.  Apples are typically more tart than pears (especially varieties like Granny Smith), so if you go this route I recommend increasing the sugar to 3 cups.
  • Canning – This recipe is meant to be refrigerated and eaten relatively quickly.  If you’d like to store some for an extended time, you’ll need to go through the full canning process.  Click here for detailed instructions: http://youngmotherhubbard.com/http:/2773/basic-canning-instructions/

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreyww/4994193129/

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