Easy Pear Butter
Another Use for a Bumper Crop of Pears
A friend of mine had a pear tree that produced a bumper crop of pears year after year. The problem was she was a school teacher, and the pears ripen during her busiest time of the year making it impossible for her to do anything with them. One year, I asked her, since she wasn’t able to use them if I could pick them and use them myself. She said that I could, so I went to her house and loaded the trunk of my car with pears. I spent about a week canning those pears. I also made some of the pears into pear sauce to cook down into pear butter. Here’s my recipe.
A Low Tech Way to Prepare the Pears for Making Pear Butter
To make pear butter, the first thing I have to do is to cook and sauce the pears. There are a number of ways to make the sauce. I know of several appliances or tools I can have used to help me in the process. The lowest-tech way that I know to use to sauce pears is to pare off the skins and remove the seeds. I place them in a large saucepan on the stove and fill the pan until it's about one-fourth full of water. I add the pared and cored pears and cooked the flesh in a saucepan over medium heat until the pears can be crushed with a potato masher.
This is one way to prep the pears, but it's not the way I do it.
Canned Pears and Pear Butter
Making Pear Butter
I do not use the lowest tech way. Instead, I use a hand-cranked machine that is made for that job. I make the sauce using a strainer I got from Lehman’s. It is a neat tool that I am able to take cooked pears. Put the cooked pears into the hopper, turn a crank, and the peels and seeds come out one end while the sauce comes out the side. I use this hand-cranked machine not only the pear butter, but also use it to make applesauce, tomato sauce, and pureed pumpkin, and remove the seeds when making blackberry jelly.
Once I have the pear sauce made, I can either put it into a crockpot or into the oven, but an ideal tool for cooking down pear butter is an electric-powered roasting pan. Begin cooking down the sauce on high in the crockpot or electric roasting pan, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit if using the oven.
Cook the sauce down until you have pear butter that is thick (the amount of time it takes varies depending on the moisture content of the pears). Be sure to stir the pear sauce every half hour or so to prevent scouring, because if the pears scorch, the pear butter will not be any good.
When the pears are thickened, add ¼ cup of honey or ½ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon ginger for EACH quart of finished butter made. (Example--if you have one quart of pear butter you use the amount of each ingredient as listed above. If you have 2 quarts of the finished product, you use double those ingredients).
Be sure to add these ingredients only after the pears are cooked down to the desired thickness, Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for another half hour; be sure to stir about every fifteen minutes or even more frequently to prevent scouring.
Strainer Used for Making Pear Butter
Canning Pear Butter
to can pear butter to use in the future, pour prepared butter into half-pint or pint-sized sterile jars, cap (using sterile caps and rings), and process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. If there isn’t enough to fill another jar, place any remaining pear butter into a bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator to use right away. In my experience, uncapped pear butter will usually keep in the refrigerator for about thirty days.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Cygnet Brown