Autumn is my favorite time of the year for making fruit butters. Although you can make them any time during the summer with your favorite fruit, to me there's just something about apples and pears and the traditional fall spices that go along with them that make me feel ready for cozy fires, crunchy leaves, and hot cups of tea and apple cider.
My favorite way to enjoy this Pear Butter is simply spread on a sliced muffin or a scone - but I also frequently use it in quick breads in place of applesauce. Feel free to play with the spices and tailor them to your tastes.
Cardamom adds a smoky sweet flavor to just about any recipe. Don't skip it here.
- 3 1/2 pounds pear, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
In a large sauce pan, combine the pears and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer gently until pears soften, about 15 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer the pears to a food mill and process. Measure 5 cups pear puree.
In a clean pan, combine the pear puree with the lemon juice, spices, and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil gently until the mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon; this could take 45-50 minutes depending on the width of your pot (a wider pot with more surface area will allow it to cook faster) and your heat level.
Prepare your canning supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes, and heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids.
Ladle the hot butter into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Place the lids and bands on top, screwing on the bands just until fingertip-tight. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and process 10 minutes. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel. Let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you’ll hear a popping noise as they do).