(Natural News) You may have already tried apple butter, but what about pear butter? You can make pear butter at home and this delicious fruit concentrate is best served with gingerbread or even just plain bread. (h/t to PracticalSelfreliance.com)
If you have a surplus of pears, like sometime in the fall, make pear butter to concentrate all that autumnal flavor into a handful of 1/2-pint or pint-size jars.
There are many ways to make pear butter and you can personalize it by using your favorite spices and seasonings. You can tweak the recipe below. Because pears are naturally sweet, flavorful and acidic, you have to use fresh and high-quality pears.
Pear butter ingredients
Despite the misleading name, pear butter doesn’t contain any butter. Rather, it contains fresh pears and a handful of other ingredients.
You can use whatever pear you want, but it’s best to avoid the Asian pear because it has very low acid, making it unsuitable for canning.
To balance the sugar in a pear butter recipe, you need citrus juice. Lemon juice adds tart acidity and orange juice or zest gives pear butter more of a warm fall flavor and accentuates the sweetness even more.
Note that citrus juice is only used to add a pleasant tart flavor to bring out the flavor of the pears. It’s not required for canning safety. (Related: Prepper recipes: How to make delicious acorn pancakes.)
Pear butter is fine for canning without lemon juice and the sugar is also optional. Alternatively, you can cook down just pears alone if it suits your taste.
Here are some of the basic ingredients often used to make pear butter:
- Sugar or natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Use only small amounts.
- Lemon juice, which brings out the flavor of the pears.
- Warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. These are optional.
Pear butter recipe
Follow the recipe below to make pear butter for spreads or cakes.
Ingredients for six 1/2-pint jars or three 1-pint jars:
- 6 lbs. pears (About 18 to 24 medium-sized pears), washed and peeled
- 1-2 cups sweetener like agave nectar, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
- 3/4 cup liquid like apple cider, apple juice, red wine, or water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Seasoning to taste (Like cinnamon, citrus zest or vanilla)
- Prepare the pears by quartering and coring them. If you’re using a food mill or sieve, skip the coring step.
- Simmer the pears and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or a covered Dutch oven over low heat until the fruit is very soft.
- Working in batches. Run the cooked pears through a food mill, sieve or blender until the puree is uniformly smooth.
- Pour the pear puree back into the pot or Dutch oven. Add the liquid, sweetener and seasonings of your choice to the pears.
- Keep cooking the pears over medium-low to medium heat. Stir more and more frequently until you can use a spatula can trace along the bottom or the pear butter holds its shape when mounded into a teaspoon.
- Remove the pear butter from the heat.
- Ladle the hot pear butter into the prepared 1/2-pint or 1-pint canning jars. Leave 1/2-inch headspace between the butter and the underside of the lids.
- Wipe the jar rims with a clean tea towel and secure the two-piece lids. Load the jars into the prepared hot water canner.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes for altitudes lower than 6,000 feet or for 15 minutes if you live at an altitude greater than 6,000 feet.
- When the timer goes off, turn off the canner. Let the jars sit in the hot water for five minutes before removing carefully with a jar lifter.
- Let the contents of the jars cool down to room temperature before checking the seal of each lid. Remove the rings from sealed jars.
- Store any unsealed jars in the fridge and consume the pear butter in the next two weeks.
- Store the sealed jars in a cool, dry location away from direct light for up to 18 months.
How to use pear butter
Aside from enjoying it plain for dessert, here are some suggestions on how to use delicious pear butter:
- Serve it with warm gingerbread and whipped cream.
- Use it in jam or thumbprint cookies.
- Spread it on bread, crumpets, or English muffins.
- Used it as a filling between layers of cake.
- Add a dollop of pear butter to cottage cheese, yogurt, or hot cereals like oatmeal.
- Heat pear butter to make a topping for vanilla ice cream.
- Use pear butter on pork or duck main dishes.
- Stir it into butternut squash or carrot soup.
The next time you have an excess harvest of pears from your home garden, make some pear butter.
Visit NaturalNewsRecipes.com for more delicious and nutritious recipes to try at home.
Watch the video below that gives you three reasons to eat more pears.
This video is from the Natural News channel on Brighteon.com.
More related stories: