Monday, November 22, 2010

Spiced Vanilla Pear Butter

You see how in the picture above the spoon has a heavenly like shine?
That's for real.
That's how good this stuff is.

A sweet senior lady from our church gave my a few boxes of pears earlier in the fall and this angelic spread was a (successful!) attempt to use up the last of those pears.

This was really easy to make. I made a few mistakes (mostly due to laziness) but I think it only enhanced the overall product.

Mistakes like: I didn't peel the pears. 
I know I should've but 7lbs of pears?!? That's a lot of peeling and sometimes I can barely find a sane moment to brush my teeth let alone do unnecessary peeling. Plus who wants to see all those peels go to waste?
 Not me.
So instead I puréed twice, once after the pears were cooked (as instructed) and then again after the spices where added and it had been cooked for about an hour. All this puréeing made it as smooth as.... you guessed it.... BUTTA!

My other hiccup in this pear butter making process happened when I left the stuff unattended for about an hour and surprise, surprise, the bottom started to burn.
I caught it just in time and something beautiful happened. 

Hot sugar got hotter and became caramel. 
That's when it was elevated to food for the angels.
(So I guess this is caramelized pear butter - but good luck if I can ever do that again.)

Try this out for the holidays.
It's fantastic on toast, pancakes, stirred into oatmeal and great with cheese.
There's just something divine about it.

Spiced Vanilla Pear Butter
Makes: 8 x 8oz jar or 4 pints
Adapted from: GoodLife Eats

7lbs pears (cored and peeled if you want)
½ cup water
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
juice of 1 orange


1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the pears, water, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, occasionally stirring, for 20 minutes.
2. Working in batches, transfer mixture to a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 8 cups of pear puree (I used the excess as Pearsauce).

3. In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine pear puree, sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds it shape to a spoon and liquid does not separate. ( I cooked it on low heat for about 2.5 hours.)
3. Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids: Wash and rinse the jars in hot soapy water. Drain the jars well of any excess water. Set the screw bands aside - they don't require sterilizing. Place the lids - the flat round portion of the two-piece closures - in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Don't boil. Keep lids hot until you're ready to use them.
4. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space, if needed, by adding more butter. Wipe rim. Center the lid on jar and screw band down until resistance is med, then increase to fingertip tight.
5.Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.


  1. Jesse, that pear butter looks SO DELICIOUS! I'm one of your secret fans, Johanna's friend, Naoko. I met you and your adorable daughter in the park during the summer! Anyway, Johanna introduced me to your blog a few months ago and I think it's really great. I'm totally going to try some of your recipes over the winter break. Please keep posting your lovely cooking :)

  2. Thanks, Naoko. I'm glad you enjoy my posts! I'm going to send a treat with Johanna for you.

  3. Thank you so much for the pear butter, Jesse! Johanna initially threatened to keep it for herself :) Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but as soon as I do I'll be commenting again about how fabulous it was! Hope you're enjoying the snowy weather. Thanks again :)

    PS - I tried some of the eggnog fudge you made (Johanna brought some to school) and it was delicious!


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