Monday, October 20, 2008
Posted by BAKE-EN at 2:41 PM
When one finds themselves with 10 pounds of pears, what does one do?
In this case, make caramel pear butter. I found the recipe in a recent issue of Bon Appetit and it seemed like it would be a cool gift to give people. One thing I forgot was just how long the whole canning process takes. From cleaning all the jars, to boiling the huge vat of water, to making the recipe; it takes forever! I started this project at about 5:00, and I wasn't finished till 9:15. Over four hours of, ugh, fun?
Here's the recipe. I increase the amount of pears to 7 1/2 pounds because my Moonglow pears were so small I thought they may not yield as much fruit as Barlett's once they were chopped up. I ended up filling 7 1/2 half-pint jars once the recipe was finished.
Brown sugar gives this pear butter a caramel-like flavor. See our guide to canning for additional tips and tricks.
Makes about eight 1/2-pint jars
Recipe by Jill Silverman Hough
October 2008 Ingredients
1/4 cup apple juice
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
7 pounds ripe Bartlett pears
3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Combine apple juice and 4 tablespoons lemon juice in heavy large deep pot. Peel, core, and cut pears, 1 at a time, into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces; mix pears into juice mixture in pot as soon as pears are cut, to prevent browning.
Cook over medium heat until pears release enough juice for mixture to boil, stirring frequently, about 16 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes (mixture will splatter). Remove pot from heat. Press pear mixture through fine plate of food mill into large bowl. Return pear puree to same pot. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until pear butter thickens and is reduced to 8 cups, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent scorching, about 1 hour (I actually stirred it more than that because I could feel the puree starting to cling to the bottom of the pan).
Ladle pear butter into 8 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.