Pear Butter

28 Oct

pear butterI saw this recipe and knew I had to make it – I’ve had a bag of star anise in the cupboard for way too long, and you know how I feel about things sitting around without a recipe destiny. 

 It does take awhile, but it is very easy.  I bought a big bag of Bosc seconds at the farmer’s market and cooked it up on a rainy Sunday.   My pears were not quite ripe, but I was impatient.  They took longer to cook in the first step, but tasted just fine.

Make sure to taste the pear puree once its gone through the food mill!  I found I needed far less sugar than the original recipe.  I also skipped the lemon zest because I forgot to buy a lemon, but I’m sure it would be even better with it. 

Pear Butter

  • 4 to 5 lbs chopped pears, any variety.  No need to peel or core, just remove any bruised sections.  This is a great use for seconds!
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2-4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Combine the pears, star anise, ginger, water, and lemon juice in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until pears are completely soft.  This will take from 20 minutes to over an hour, depending on the variety and ripeness of your pears. 

Remove the star anise.  Process the pear mixture through a food mill into a large bowl.   Measure the pear puree, and pour into a large, clean pot.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 c sugar for each cup of pear puree.  Add the cardamom, nutmeg, and lemon zest.  Taste!  Add additional sugar if needed, or, if its too sweet, a little more lemon juice. 

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick.  This could take up to 2 hours. 

Process in a hot water bath 10 minutes in sterilized half-pint jars.  You’ll need 6-8 jars.

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3 Responses to “Pear Butter”

  1. Dad October 28, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    How do you consume it? Does it go well on bread? Can you just spoon out a cupful and eat it straight? Does it work as a spread on something else?

  2. Kate October 29, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    Why don’t I bring you a jar and you can experiment!

  3. Dad October 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Will do!

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