Thursday, November 20, 2008

Finally, Pear Butter

Pear Butter half pints
Pear butter, vanilla, nutmeg, cardamom, pears

Pear butter is as easy as Apple Butter, and when you make it like I did, it's even easier! You'll need a crock pot.

I looked for a recipe for Pear Butter after being at my favorite bread maker Con Pane. You see, Catherine has the most delicious Pear Butter that is served with fresh sliced bread as a snack. I had to try it and was smitten immediately. I bought three one ounce containers and headed home. Once they were gone, my love for Pear Butter had not been satisfied, and Con Pane is 80 miles away. What to do?

Look for a recipe, and make it myself. I chose to use a recipe I found at Coconut and Lime. It is simple and easy to do.

9 red or green Bartlett pears, sliced
1 cup pear cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon mace

I used nutmeg instead of mace. I did not use ginger. I added a vanilla bean to mine. And I used pumpkin pie spice from Penzeys instead of allspice.

So place all your ingredients in the crockpot with the heat setting on low:
Pear butter, pears sliced and ready to cook

After twelve hours, take the lid off. Cook for another twelve hours. The pears should be almost dry at this point, as the liquid has cooked down and you have the pears well cooked and ready to puree.
Pear butter ready to puree

Into the Cuisinart/ food processor of choice. Oh! Remember to remove the vanilla bean pod, as you don't want it pureed with everything else. Pulse the processor until the pears resemble a butter.

Pear butter, more puree needed Here you can see that it isn't quite smooth enough so go ahead and pulse a bit more.

Pear butter, pureed and ready to jar
Now we're talking. However, I must admit there was still quite a bit of juice and I did put mine through a sieve to remove most of it before putting it in the jars. Next time I make this recipe, I'm going to omit the Pear cider and see if it makes a marked difference. It's ready to put into jars. I did sterilize my jars, but did not heat seal the butter. I am going to keep it in the fridge until it's eaten up. Half pint jars don't last long around here!

Pear butter

The yield for 9 pears was 8 half pints. Not a bad yield at all. This was so simple, I think I am going to make these as gifts for neighbors during the holidays!