A great way to capture the flavour of local pears, to enjoy off-season. This pear butter is delicious with grilled cheese sandwiches or topped on crostini with blue or gorgonzola cheese and a few walnuts on top or on a fresh ginger scone or… mmmm!
10 pears, washed, peeled and cored
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
3/4 cup of cold water
- Add the washed peeled and cored pears to a bowl with the lemon juice and the cold water until you are ready to chop them. This will prevent them from turning brown. I add each pear half to this water as I do the peeling and the coring of the remainder of the pears.
- Roughly chop the pears.
- Add the pears to a large pot and add the lemon water that you used to prevent the pears from browning.
- Cook for about 15 minutes until all the pears are soft.
- With an immersion blender, blend all the pears until they are smooth with no lumps (if you don’t have an immersion blender you can do this step in a food processor).
- To the pears in the pot, add the cane sugar.
- Turn the heat to high until the sugar is blended well into the pears and is dissolved (take care to stir constantly because the first time I made this pear butter, I got burned by the blistering hot bubbles that erupted pear and sugar onto my arms!).
- Turn the hear to low and stir constantly for 35 minutes. There will be a continuous eruption of hot bubbles during this period, again be careful to continue your stirring so you don’t get burned.
- After 35 minutes the large blistering bubbles start to simmer down and you don’t have to stir quite as frequently. Note: stir to ensure that it doesn’t start to burn, you know; sugar and all!
- Let simmer on low for another 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The pear butter is ready when you can drag your spoon across the bottom of the pot and leave a gap for a few seconds.
(The following canning instructions have been borrowed with the kind permission of my lovely friend Sarah B. Hood (she’s my go-to expert!). I used the instructions for her raspberry jam, making the necessary adjustments for my pear butter.
Visit her blog at Eat Locally, Blog Globally. You might also want to check out her spectacular book, We Sure Can!
Sterilize snap-lid jars in a canner at a rolling boil for minimum 10 minutes. It can take 30 minutes for the canner to reach a full boil. Note that the jars must be completely immersed. I add the lids and my tools on top, in a strainer basket.
Using a funnel, spoon in the pear butter to fill your sterilized jars (which have been waiting in the covered canner). Leave a little “head room” (air space at the top). Wipe any spilled pear butter off the rims and lay a lid over each one. Very gently finger-tighten the metal bands, but don’t close completely; the expanding jam must be able to expel steam. By the way, it’s worth investing in the standard set of tools for this: tongs, a jar-lifter and a funnel, which are available at hardware stores for a modest cost.
Set the jars back into the canner and sterilize again for a minimum five minutes at a rolling boil. When you lift them out, don’t tilt. Stand the jars on a dishtowel and don’t touch them. You should hear a loud pop from each one as the cooling air inside the jar creates a vacuum and pops the lid tight. When the jars are completely cool, each lid should be sucked inwards. If not, put the jar in the fridge and eat it before it goes bad.
Label the others with the date; they will keep for at least a year.