Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pear Butter

This recipe came about after I discovered how much I LOVE homemade Apple Butter. And since I have sooooo many pears from our trees in town. I decided I could make the Pear Butter using the same technique, just varying the spices. It is so simple. Not quick, but simple. The Pear Butter is inspired by the Apple Butter recipe from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook.

I will let you know how it turns out, of course, it still has at least 12 hours in the slow cooker today. It smells delicious in the house, once again.

The pear butter turned out great! Smooth and delicious. And so easy.

Pear Butter
Makes about 10 cups in a six-quart slow cooker.

Does anyone make pear butter? I don't know. But this is an easy recipe in the slow cooker, with very little hands-on time until you're ready to can the butter. Be sure to use unpeeled pears, since the pectin in the skins will help make the butter nice and thick. The yield will vary, depending on how thick you like your butter.

Setting and Cook Time: LOW for 12 to 20 hours; cooker is uncovered at 10 to 12 hours

5 pounds pears, unpeeled, cored, and cut up, or enough pears to fill your cooker
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt

1. Coat the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Fill with the pears, almost to the top; the exact amount is not critical. As you load in the pears, sprinkle with the sugar in layers. Cover and let stand at room temperature all day; the pears will exude some of their own juice and collapse slightly. Pears are very juicy.

2. Add the spices and salt and toss the pears with a large wooden spoon. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours, or overnight.

3. In the morning, remove the lid and let the pear butter cook an additional 2 to 8 hours on low to reach the desired thickness.

4. Prepare your canning jars and lids during the last hour or so of cooking. Wash your jars and place them in a pot of very hot water, over the tops of the jars, but do not boil. Place your flat lids in a saucepan and cover with boiling water, then let sit off the heat. Have your clean screw rings ready, along with your towel, tongs, damp dish cloth, etc. (see here for canning hints)

5. Keep the slow cooker on low so the pear butter remains hot. Use a handheld immersion blender right in the crock and puree' the butter until it is as smooth as you'd like. Ladle the hot pear butter into hot glass jars, wipe rims, place hot flat lids on top and secure with screw rings. As jars are filled, place them on a clean towel, upside down. When all the jars are filled, let sit upside down for 10 minutes, then turn all jars right side up. Let cool on the counter for about 24 hours, then check for seals. In the meantime you should hear little pops as the jars are sealing.

UPDATE: I used to use the inversion method for canning jams and fruit butters, but I have since been made aware that this no longer considered a reliable canning method.  Prepare a pot of boiling water, and as jars are filled place them in the pot, making sure the water covers the lids by at least an inch.  Process (boil) for the recommended time for jams at your altitude--I am at 7,000 feet, so that means about 25 minutes for my jars.  Remove jars from pot and set them gently on a towel.  Let them sit, undisturbed for 24 hours, then test for seals. 

After 24 hours, press lightly on the middle of the lids, if a lid bounces back, it has not sealed and should be refrigerated. Store unsealed jars, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Or transfer to small plastic storage containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Canned pear butter should be good for at least one year.

Serve cold or at room temperature.


Unknown said...

I've been looking for a crock-pot pear butter recipe, and this is exactly what I've been hoping to find. I'm going to try it tonight!

Min said...

Great! Let me know how it works for you!

Min said...

Alicia says, "just put some in the crock pot. Will see how it turns out. The last time I made pear butter was over 35 years ago."

Thanks for the comment, Alicia. Sorry my finger hit the wrong button so it didn't get published...

Erika said...

Thanks for the idea. Made it yesterday & it's chilling in the fridge, waiting to be eaten. I'm gifting the rest for Christmas gifts. Thanks again!!

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