I was out at my aunt’s place on Tuesday following my grandmother’s funeral, and she was kind enough to load me up with pears from her tree before I left for home. I’d been wanting to make some of our favorite pear/apple butter while the fruit was readily available, and today I finally managed to get that done.
I often make this recipe using apples instead of pears (and sometimes I use a combination). As similar as they are, I think I’m partial to the flavour of the pear.
A Swiss peeler like this one makes the job of peeling all those pears a lot less of a pain.
Oven Baked Pear Butter:
8 cups pears, peeled and coursely chopped
1 cup apple cider (unfiltered apple juice)
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (use slightly less if using freshly ground)
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
Combine the pears and the apple juice in a 9 X 13 pan. Bake (covered) at 400 degrees for an hour (stir once halfway through).
After the hour, remove from the oven and puree the pears and liquid in a food processor (transferring the puree into a large bowl). Stir in the brown sugar and spices and return to the baking pan. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and cook for another hour (uncovered), stirring every 20 minutes.
Ladle the butter into sterile jars (I get about 3 or 4 eight ounce jars) and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
The recipe can easily be doubled, but this is the amount that fits comfortably into a 9 X 13 pan.For a delicious and comforting cold weather drink, try stirring a bit of the butter into a mug of warm milk (yum).