Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Caramel-Pear Butter

Last night I showed up empty-handed for a dinner party. Shame on me. I was running behind, paranoid about traffic and just couldn't make it to the nearest wine shop. The guilt stayed with me overnight and I woke up brainstorming a jarring project so I'd have hostess gifts on-hand and ready for deployment.

Pear butter is absolutely delicious on an English muffin in the morning or on French toast. The last jar in my fridge lasted about week thanks to Drew. He pounded it. With this recipe, I'll never go empty-handed to a dinner party again. Maybe they'll even invite me back.

Caramel-Pear Butter
by Jill Silverman Hough
Yield: Makes about eight 1/2 -pint jars

1/4 cup apple juice
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
7 pounds ripe Bartlett pears
3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Combine apple juice and 4 tablespoons lemon juice in heavy large deep pot. Peel, core, and cut pears, 1 at a time, into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces; mix pears into juice mixture in pot as soon as pears are cut, to prevent browning. Cook over medium heat until pears release enough juice for mixture to boil, stirring frequently, about 16 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes (mixture will splatter). Remove pot from heat.

Press pear mixture through fine plate of food mill into large bowl. Return pear puree to same pot. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until pear butter thickens and is reduced to 8 cups, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent scorching, about 1 hour. Ladle pear butter into 8 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

Test Kitchen tip:
Stir the mixture with a flat-bottomed spatula or spoon to prevent the pear butter from scorching.



Anonymous said...


I've made apple butter before, but haven't tried it in years. Does pear butter work out about the same?

BTW, Mike Dwyer sent me to your blog. I run a restaurant review site in Chicago, so he thought we might have things in common.

Drop me a line sometime.


EMSHAW said...

Pear butter is AMAZING so I would suggest trying this recipe on a winter day. My boyfriend loves this stuff.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I just moved to SF and it has taken a long time to get settled. For instance, my home office is still our local starbucks. Hope to have the blog up and running more in the next couple weeks.

LOVE your blog. And will add to my blog roll. I am trying to transition into corporate marketing into food and wine out here in CA. As you know, not the best time to job search so I am doing a little consulting work on the side while I get my feet underneath me. Let me know if anything comes to mind!

Take care,