Have you ever heard of Apple Butter? No? Im not surprised, its a proper southern American delicacy. Its like a spice filled applesauce, no actual butter in it, that you spread on toast. The name comes from its smooth and butter like texture. Its really nice and English people didn’t really get it and used it as more of a sauce on over ice cream, which also works really well.
I have had a load of pears and I figured, as Ive been subbing them out for everything else apple related, why not try out pear butter too? What I realised in the tasting stage? If you like the graininess of pears, this is absolutely for you, if you prefer the smoothness of apples, this recipe is not for you.
Makes: Just 2 – 320g jars and 1 720g jar Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 2.5 hours Total time: 2 hours 40 mins minimum
- 2 kilos of pears – cored and put into quarters or chunks
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 cups sugar – I used 1 cup normal and 1 cup brown
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 lemon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)
Now how to make this uniquely southern spread:
1. Combine all ingredients in a large pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the pears are soft, roughly 20-30 minutes. At first you will think there isn’t enough liquid but once the pears start to break down, they will release liquid, which will get you to the final picture.
2. Transfer pear mixture to a food processor (or you can use an immersion blender) and purée just until a uniform texture is achieved.
3. Return your pear mixture to the pan and reduce the heat to low and cook low and slow for 1.5-2 hours, stirring frequently to prevent sticking (and burning) until the mixture is very thick. The idea is that you cook out the natural water in the fruit and turn this into a thick spread.
4. At the last 30 mins of cooking, you need to sterilise your jars so that they are ready when your pear butter is. I put mine in the oven at 90-100C until the jam was ready. The lids you will need put in a large mug or pyrex bowl and cover with boiling water.
5. Pour the pear butter into hot sterilised jars and cover with the hot lid. (BE CAREFUL, EVERYTHING IS HOT!) As the jars cool, you will hear the lids popping from the pressure, which is a good thing. You want them to be complete sealed and closed. I used a soup ladle to pour into the jars and jam funnel but a normal funnel will also work.
Enjoy on buttered toast (the southern American way) or have it ice cream or rice pudding (the English way). I had literally just enough left in the pan to cover some caramel pecan ice cream, it worked VERY well!
Remember to share with friends and enjoy!
Notes: Any time I put things in jars, I also use wax discs to cover the contents, Im not really sure why I do but its a habit I cant get out of. You dont have to do it but you are more than welcome to join in paranoia about using them.
You can peel the pears if you prefer but I think there are great nutrients in the peel.
If you don’t want to bother with canning, just freeze the apple butter in quantities that you can use within a week. Remove from freezer as needed and allow to thaw in the refrigerator.