Fresh pears don't keep very long, even in the fridge, but when they are in season they are cheap and scrumptious. If you want to take advantage of this always-fleeting situation, make pear butter. Just peel and chop your pears, drop them into a crockpot with a few other ingredients and go about your business. By the end of the day, you'll have loads of homemade pear butter to jar and enjoy. Opened jars of pear butter (canned or frozen) should be stored in the refrigerator. This recipe will yield four pint or eight half-pint jars.
Ingredients for Pear Butter
You need just a few things to make this delicious pear butter: about 40 medium-sized pears, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
Making pear butter takes about an hour to prepare and then several hours in the crockpot. But that's no strain on you. First, you peel, core, and chop the pears. Then you puree them in a blender. It'll take several batches to puree all of your pears. Then put the pear puree, sugar, and spices into a crockpot (4 quarts or larger). Stir the ingredients together and set the crockpot on high.
Cook the mixture uncovered, stirring occasionally until it is reduced by half. Your finished pear butter should have a thick, paste-like consistency, that's perfect for spreading on bread or biscuits. Keep cooking it until you get there. There's really no set cook time for this recipe.
To Can Your Pear Butter
Ladle your pear butter into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Then run a spatula or bubble remover tool around the inside edge of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims clean, top with a sterilized lid, secure the band, and process in a boiling water bath, about 10 minutes for pint or half-pint jars. Place the hot jars on a towel and allow them to cool overnight. Then test the jars for a good seal in the morning (press down on the lid; and if the lid doesn't pop back, the jar is sealed). Refrigerate any jars that did not seal properly and use them within three weeks.
To Freeze Your Pear Butter
Ladle the pear butter into clean freezer jars (or freezer-safe containers) up to the headspace line. Then seal the jars and allow them to cool completely before placing them in the freezer. They'll keep indefinitely, but they are best used within a year.
Gift Your Homemade Pear Butter
Make a bunch of pear butter while pears are in season. Then hold back some jars to give as holiday gifts. Everyone will be thrilled with this special gift, and you'll have less holiday shopping (and spending) to do.