This post is a two-fer.
First, I made the most awesome pear butter this weekend. Salted caramel pear butter. Oh yeah.
From my favourite canning book, The Canning Kitchen. But lest canning scare you, you can still make the small batch of pear butter and stash it in your fridge. It may only take you 2 weeks or so to devour it.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Eight pounds of pears are crushed and simmered with brown sugar to create a custard-like caramel sauce and blown over the top with the last minute addition of the salt. Delicious.
The second recipe, though, is a work in progress. In that, I am in the midst of experimenting and letting you know so you can join along. Because while you are coring and peeling a bunch of pears, you may as well see if you can make your very own pear cider vinegar.
I saw Sayward’s post about DIY apple cider vinegar, but only after I had already made my applesauce and apple butter. Turns out I could also try making my own pear cider vinegar. I collected all my pear remnants, added 1/4 cup sugar, 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and covered it with water. Now I am going to wait a few weeks and see what happens. Wish me luck. If it works, what an easy way to make delicious vinegar! I am excited, as you can tell. So excited that I am telling you now because I know you will want to make the pear butter. Salted caramel pear butter. Or maybe just the pear cider vinegar?
I’ll let you know how it goes in a month or so…
Do it, you know you want to.
8 lb ripe pears, cleaned, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1. Place chopped pears in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Raise heat to medium-high and allow pears to cook, stirring occasionally, using a masher to crush the pears. After an hour, once the pears are nice and soft, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar and lemon juice. Cover with the lid ajar. Continue cooking on medium-low, stirring occasionally, for an additional hour, taking care not to allow it to burn. Be careful of the bubbling fruit. Once it has reduced and tasted great, remove from heat. Stir in the salt.
2. If you are canning, ladle into 5-6 1 cup jars with 5 mm headspace. Process in a water canner for 15 minutes with at least 1 inch water covering overtop once it returns to a boil. Once the time is up, remove lid of the pot and keep the jars submerged for an additional 5 minutes.
3. If you are not canning, refrigerate your bounty.
Makes 5-6 cups.
Note: I simmered my fruit for a good 4-5 hours and ended up with 4 cups. I stopped when I had scorched the bottom a bit. 😉