September 2, 2010

Pear Butter

Oh my goodness!
I finally made my pear butter! I have been trying to ripen these pears,
but it just didn't seem to happen.

Or did it?
I don't know.

After doing much research on the web, I found that pears are really confusing. Pears ripen after they are picked, but some varieties will stay hard as a rock until cooked. I believe my pears are Keifer...and Keifers are hard!

I have to tell you that it was a little hard to cut through this kind of pear!

It was even harder to cut the core out of the pears.

After I cut and cored about 20 small pears, I put them in a large pot and added about 1 cup of water to prevent pears from sticking.

After about 30 to 40 minutes the pears finally softened. I had to stir very frequently and kept adding about 1 cup of water as needed.

The next step was to separate the skins from the pear flesh.
I don't have a food mill so I cut the skins off by hand. This was NOT my plan...I had intended to use my ricer, but the pear flesh would not push through the tiny holes very well. Needless to say, a food mill would have been VERY helpful and I am going to buy one ASAP!!

After peeling the skins from the pears,
I threw all the peeled pears into my food processor to puree away!

Of course, it pureed them perfectly...or should I say "pearfectly".
Ha Ha!

To the puree, I added 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 tsp. orange zest, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. cinnamon, a dash of cloves and a dash of ginger.

At this point, my house was smelling pretty darn good!

After cooking down to puree for 35 minutes, I put my handy, dandy, vintage, wide mouth funnel in the first jar.

and filled to within 1/4 of the top of the jar.

All filled!

I put the lids and rings on...but I did not "can" these. I decided to freeze the filled jars instead. Before freezing, I let the jars cool for several hours. I put one jar in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow morning! Mmm! I can't wait to put it on warm buttered toast!

Now, let me tell you....the pear butter turned out DELICIOUS!!

I was very impressed with the flavor!

The orange zest compliments the pears so well!

My house smelled like a Fall festival and I was loving it!

Really, all in all, the recipe was very easy! The only issue I had was coring the pears because they were so hard. It's a good thing my kids were at school cause I was swearing like a sailor! Not to mention the fact that I gave myself a puncture wound with a pointy pear is that even possible!?

I will definitely make this recipe doubt!

But next time,
I will use a softer variety of pears,
just to make it a little easier on the cutting and coring.

If you have pears and you need a recipe,
this is definitely very tasty and rustic...
a perfect way to welcome Fall!

Recipe for Freezer Pear Butter

First make pear puree: wash, quarter and core 20 small pears. Put pears in large pot, add 1 cup water. Cook on med. heat stirring very frequently to prevent scorching. When pears become soft, use food mill to separate pear skin from pear flesh. You can peel skins with a knife instead of using a food mill. Puree skinned pears in a food processor until smooth. Transfer puree to large pot and stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, dash of ground ginger, dash of ground cloves, 1/4 cup orange juice and 1 tsp. orange zest. Cook down pear puree, stirring very frequently, for 35 minutes. Fill clean jars with pear butter. Put lids on. Let cool completely. Freeze for up to 6 months or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy pear butter on warm buttered toast on mix in your oatmeal.