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Spiced Pear Butter

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I’m from the South. Lots of things call for butter down there, but ironically pear butter does not. It’s just pear jam. But we call it butter. I don’t know.

This is some delightful jam butter. It’s so easy to make – cook down some fruit, add magical spices and a touch of sugar, done. Pack it up in wee mason jars and send it along your heart strings to friends and family. A toasted English muffin is the perfect vehicle. A hot biscuit would be naughty…but divine.

We visited TJ’s family this weekend in the warm desert. It was wonderful spending time with them and letting my face feel some sunshine. We ate and chatted. I cherish the feeling of sitting around a big table and sharing a (delicious) meal with people you love. I wish I could bottle that feeling and heal the world. But equally so, I adore the after dinner linger. The food is gone, but no one budges. The conversation winds like a river, touching this and touching that. Collective laughter, brief moments of silence, precious face time. Everyone simply enjoying the presence of the others. Just being together. It’s important stuff.

I tucked some pear butter into a little bag for them and hope it said thanks enough for a lovely weekend.

Happy Monday. We’ll bear it together!

Makes 4 1/2 (half-pint) jars

4 pounds pears (about 8 pears) or 9-10 cups once they’re peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine chopped pears and juice in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender. Place pear mixture in a blender or food processor (or use immersion blender) and process until mostly smooth with some chunks.
  2. Combine puréed pear mixture, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and orange zest in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour or until mixture has thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Cool (unless canning) and store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 months. For longer storage, sterile-can the pear butter.
  3. For canning (do not let the pear butter cool): While making butter, run glass jars and lids/rings through dishwasher. Remove from dishwasher (without touching insides of jars or lids) and immediately fill to top with hot pear butter. I use a 1/4 cup measure to fill jars without a mess. Carefully seal with lid/ring and leave on counter. Lids should seal (you’ll hear them pop) after some time. If they don’t, store them in the fridge.

More → Breakfast , Holidays

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