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.
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.
CARAMEL PEAR BUTTER
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.