- 10 pounds ripe pears, coarsely chopped (do not peel)
- 2-1/2 cups unsweetened apple cider
- 4-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- In a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottom pot, combine pears and cider. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to boil gently, covered, for 30 minutes. Mash with a potato masher, and boil for another 10 minutes, or until very soft.
- Ladle mixture into a large mesh sieve and press pulp through; discard peel. (Or use a food mill if you have one.)
- Return strained pulp to clean Dutch oven. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Stir in spices and cook on low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Increase heat to high and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, stirring often and reducing heat as mix thickens, 35 to 40 minutes or until thick. To test doneness, put a spoonful on a plate. If after a few minutes, no liquid seeps out, it’s done.
- To preserve, ladle butter into sterilized jars to within 1/2 inch of rim; wipe rims; apply sterilized lids and rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (to learn about this technique, visit motherearth living.com/waterbath-canning). Transfer jars to towel on counter and let cool; check seals. Sealed jars will last up to 2 years in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks. Makes about 6 half-pints. Learn more preservation techniques in Preserving Fruits and Vegetables for Winter.
Fruit butters are cooked slowly until thick and spreadable. They contain no butter, but are often used in place of butter on toast, muffins, etc. They make a nice addition to cheese or charcuterie trays. This caramel-colored butter has a soft pear flavor with a hint of spice. Try it with almond butter for a twist on the classic PB&J.