Thursday, January 15, 2009

More fun with pears:
Caramel pear butter

Yeah—Christmas tree still up and not because I'm enjoying looking at it. In fact, it's really annoying me. This weekend. Really. I hate taking it down and wrapping each of the glass ornaments and figuring out how the hell to get it all back in the closet, but for a brief moment when the tree comes down, my living room looks larger. I said brief. It's usually a matter of minutes before something takes its place.

In the meantime, more canning. Pears won't be around forever, you know.

This recipe is sort of like making thick applesauce with brown sugar. The nutmeg gives it a rich flavor and makes the house smell really nice.

Do you have one of these food mills? Very useful things, and they make the most perfect mashed potatoes ever.

It's a good idea to simmer this in a deep pan so the popping bubbles don't spatter all over your stove.


1/4 cup apple juice
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
7 pounds ripe pears
3 cups packed
golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Combine apple juice and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in a heavy large deep pot. Peel, core, and dice pears, one at a time, and add to juice mixture. Toss gently as you go to coat the pear so it doesn't brown.

Cook over medium heat until pears release enough juice for mixture to boil, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until pears are very tender, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

Remove pears from heat and run mixture through a food mill into a large bowl. Return mixture to pot and add remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens and is reduced to about 8 cups. Stir frequently to avoid scorching, about 1 hour.

Ladle pear butter into hot clean jars (I pour boiling water over them in the sink), leaving about 1/4 inch space at the top of jars. Cover with hot lids and apply screw bands. Process jars in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Cool completely. Store in a dark place for up to 1 year. Or eat immediately.

We'll be spreading this on cinnamon toast and pumpkin bread. And I can't wait to try it as a filling for my round pancakes. Husband will probably just eat it over the sink with a spoon.


Tonia said...

Wow, that sounds so good.
I just put away my Christmas decorations last weekend. I don't usually put up a tree (my house is tiny.) Everything seems kind of bare now. I don't can (yet!) but I do have some craft projects that I am going to dive into this weekend.

Carla said...

Sounds sooo yummy! I'm probably being VERY dense, but are pears actually IN season this time of year where you live? Color me green with envy!!! Most of what's currently in season where I live has feathers and is at the other end of a gun, poor dears. ACK!

Purple Flowers said...

We took our Christmas tree down last weekend, along w/decorations etc. It also made our living room look bigger, which is nice. But it seems like we had more things to put away than we took out. And I don't remember buying anything. Amnesia?

tommie said...

I have yet to can....I can do pretty much anything in the kitchen...but have yet to can. I guess that should be on my to do list!

KSK said...

would a ricer work in substitution of the mill-thingy?

Cindy said...

KSK: Yes--I think a ricer would work fine.