Monday, September 26, 2011
Vanilla Chai Pear Butter
The other day I wasn't feeling so good. It was raining, I had a headache, and I had to run a lot of errands when I would have rather been snuggled up inside reading a book and drinking hot tea. When I finally got home after running the errands I was determined to do something that I wanted to do. What I wanted to do at that moment was make pear butter.
I have fond memories of eating preserved pears right out of the jar when I was a young child. The syrupy sweetness and softness of the canned pears was my favorite part. Even though my mom only canned the pears from our tree (or anywhere) once I still remember eating them to this day, more than fifteen years later. I've learned the hard way not to try and re-create the memories of things from my childhood (often ends in disappointment) but I decided to honor those memories with this pear butter.
Vanilla Chai Pear Butter (Yields four 8oz jars)
8 Pears (I used 4 Bosc and 4 Bartlett)
1.5 inches of cinnamon stick
6 cardamom seeds
Juice of one lemon
1/4 to 1/2 C. Honey or vegan sugar (adjust depending on how sweet you like it)
2 t. Vanilla Extract
1. Peel and core the pears. Cut into small chunks and put in a crock pot.
2. Add the cinnamon stick and cardamom to the crock pot and allow to simmer for several hours until the pears are very soft. Remove the cinnamon and cardamom when you are happy with the taste/aroma. I left mine in for around 3 hours but you may want more or less flavor.
3. Allow pears to cool slightly then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to do this in a few batches, be careful of blending hot things!
4. Return butter to the crock pot and continue to reduce if necessary. Add the vanilla. If the consistency is how you would like it simply heat the butter until it is just shy of boiling and then put in canning jars. Water bath can for 15 minutes.
Notes: I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding whether or not to water bath these after canning. I have made fruit butters many times and not always water bath canned them after. For safety I would put these in a water bath though. Better safe than sorry! I'm lucky if the butters last longer than six months since I usually give them away as gifts. I also use very very ripe pears for this recipe. Should you not want to can this butter you can allow it to cool and freeze it. Enjoy!