Recently I found myself with about 7 pounds of pears that were ripening faster than I could consume them. Normally, this would never happen as pears are one of my favorites and generally don’t last long enough to even get mushy, yet here we are.
There were ideas swirling around in my head as to what I could do with them, but none of them really thrilled me so I put out a call on the Facebook page for ideas. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head, you know? Get some fresh ideas and perhaps learn a thing or two… As usual, my friends came through. I had a dozen great ideas in under 5 minutes. It pays off to have “foodies” for friends! Then, my “wish-she-were-really-my-sister” came through with “you could use this as a filling for sweet rolls”. Well, that girl knows just how to get to me. From that point on, it was all I could think about.
I rushed to make it, take photos and write the recipe; then life got in the way and it took me two weeks to write it up. So much for planning… I am still swooning over the idea of this being used as a filling for sweet rolls. (That Jenni is a bit of an evil genius)
Now that I had decided on the fate of the pears, it was time to get everything set up for canning. Let me preface this by saying it is not imperative to can the pear butter. Feel free to store it in the refrigerator if you are certain it will be consumed within a week or two. I happen to get giddy over that “ping” of the lids sealing and thus am drawn to canning like a moth to a flame. It adds 15 minutes to the process and I can leave them in the cupboard or give them to friends as gifts, well worth an extra fifteen minutes if you ask me and your friends will be impressed with your kitchen prowess… they needn’t know it wasn’t all that difficult.
- 5 pounds very ripe pears, Bartlett or Anjou, roughly chopped (do not peel or seed)
- 1/2 cup Elderflower liqueur, or Bourbon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 star anise
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large, deep pot, combine pears, elderflower liqueur or bourbon and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat for approximately 30 - 40 minutes until fruit is falling apart.
- Run mixture through the fine mesh of a food mill to remove seeds and skin. Return puree to pot and stir in brown sugar, lemon juice ginger and salt.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until thick and amber colored. (about 2 - 2 1/2 hrs)
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
- Makes 6 half pint jars
- If you want to can the butter, sterilize jars & lids, spoon butter into jars and process in a water bath for 10 - 15 minutes.
The original plan was to use bourbon with this... Only to discover I had none and did not feel like going out to buy some. I happened upon elderflower liqueur and it was quite the happy accident. It worked beautifully here.