Introduction: Pear Butter (and How to Can It!)
Do you have a pear tree or just happen to have stocked up a fairly good supply of ripe pears and don't know what to do with them?Well, you can make pear butter! Contrary to the name, we aren't actually making "butter", per se; there are no dairy products in this recipe. Prepared this way, the jars should have a shelf life of about 18 months to 2 years...and possibly even longer depending upon the conditions. Let's get started!
Step 1: Ingredients
- 15 bartlett pears
- 2 cups water
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Step 2: Step 1
Wash the pears but do not peel or core them; slice pears into a heavy saucepan (at least 5-quart size). Add water, cover, and cook until tender (about 30 minutes).
Step 3: Step 2
Remove from heat and press the pears through a colander or a food mill. As you can see, I don't have a food mill (although I've heard the one found here is pretty good), so I went the cheaper way and just pressed them through a strainer. Be sure to choose a sturdy one so that it doesn't break!
Measure the pear pulp (you should have about 8 cups) and return to the pan.
Step 4: Step 3
Using a frying pan, heat 1 1/2 cups of the sugar starting at medium-low heat, stirring until it melts and caramelizes to a medium brown color. You can see the progression of it in the pictures.
Step 5: Step 4
Pour immediately into the pear pulp (the syrup will sizzle and harden, but dissolve again as the preserves cook). When you pour it in, it will bubble up...no need to worry! It even doesn't matter if it hardens onto your stirring utensil...it will eventually warm up and dissolve again!
Step 6: Step 5
Add the remaining sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Cook uncovered, until thick (about 45 minutes). Stir frequently as it begins to thicken to prevent it from sticking. Stir in lemon juice just before removing it from heat.
Step 7: Step 6
Pour hot mixture into sterilized 1/2 pint jars, put on lid, and crew band tightly. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool and seal.
Step 8: Enjoy!
Once the jars are cool and have sealed, you can store them wherever you'd like! Once you unseal them, though, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator.
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