Happy Holidays! This year I made some pear butter to give away as gifts. I was given a jar many years ago, along with the recipe, but only lately was I brave enough to try it.
My first batch I made with the Bartlett Pears that the recipe called for, and I think I only added 7 cups of sugar instead of 7.5, and it turned out delicious. The flavor of pear along with the usual Christmas spices makes it taste like the holidays. Delicious!
For the second batch I found a good sale on the large Asian pears at Superking. Asians take their pears very seriously, as they even come with little jackets to keep them from bruising (I assume).
I admit that the reason I wanted to use huge pears is that it meant less peeling, which really was the hardest part of this recipe. I used 3!
A big difference between the types of pears is that the large Asian pears didn't get soft. I kept waiting for them to get soft near the stem, but they didn't within my time frame, so I went ahead and used them. They never got as soft as the Bartlett pears when I was boiling them down, which I see now is the whole point of the Asian pears: They are crisp! Very crisp, and protected by the little jackets.
But when I put them in the blender they broke down easily after the boiling. I had to boil off some of the water, and the result was just as delicious as the Bartlett pear batch. If it's possible, it tastes a little crisper!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and the resulting treat. It makes about 9 half-pints. Happy eating!
7 large Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and diced to make 2 quarts. 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup water 7 1/2 cups sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp allspice 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1 (3-oz.) pouch liquid pectin
Yield: 9 cups
Combine pears in a large saucepan with lemon juice and water; heat to boiling. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until pears are soft. Uncover and cook over high heat 10 minutes longer, stirring and mashing pears as they cook.
In a blender, puree half the mixture at a time until smooth. This mixture should measure 5 cup: If it measures more, boil it down, if it measures less than 5 cups, add water.
Add sugar and spices and heat to boiling until sugar dissolves. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in pectin. Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps.