As mentioned in Jalapeno Jelly, we have been canning away. One of our recent endeavors was Pear Butter. Similar to an Apple Butter (a project for later this fall), this recipe cooks all day in a crock pot to bring out the rich flavors but you are able to adjust the recipe to be completed on the stove as well. As always, there are a many different ways to flavor the butter to your liking but below is our rendition.
[Yield: (6) Half-Pints]
Materials: (all materials can be found on The Necessities for reference)
- 6 half-pint jars (plus flat lids and bands/rings) + a few extras
- 1 water bath
- 1 funnel
- 1 jar lifter
- 1 food processor (I used an immersion blender to make quick work of this)
- 1 stainless steel ladle
- 1 large crockpot
- 1 dish towel (large enough for the jars to cool on)
- 6 lbs pears, washed
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp ginger
Note: Keep in mind, this is the recipe that we made. You can swap out the liquids, sweets, and flavors/seasonings as you see fit as well as adjust quantities.
- Carefully peal, core, and cube each washed pear and set aside (will be used to make a gorgeous Pear Scrap Jelly).
- Put the pear cubes/chunks into a crockpot on high along with lemon juice for 1 hour.
- After an hour, the pears should be very soft / starting to break down. Either using an immersion blender, or segmented into a food processor, blend chunks until smooth then return to crock pot.
- Add in desired liquid, sweets, and flavors/seasonings to partially covered crock pot, and return to high, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
- This mixture will continue to cook for 8+ hours until desired thickness. Your goal is to have a spread that will hold shape on a spoon.
- Within the last half-hour, or so – inspect each of your jars for cracks, chips, and/or any other questionable markings before use.
- Place wire rack into bottom of water bath with ‘arms’ up to allow jars to be placed.
- Fill your water bath with enough water to cover each of the jars with 1-2″ of liquid and place on burner to warm jars (simmer but do not boil).
- Once butter is at desired thickness, remove empty jars from water bath by lifting the wire rack and setting the arms on the rim of the water bath. Then, using jar lifter empty and remove the jar from the water.
- Place funnel in jar and carefully ladle pear butter into each jar keeping a 1/2 in head space. [Head space is the distance from the top of the jar to the food filling the jar.]
- Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth ensuring that the rims are clean.
- Place flat lid and screw band on jar and finger tighten. [Hint: Place the jar on a towel and using only your fingers, tighten the band until your jar spins on the towel.]
- Once finger tightened, return to warm water bath to avoid thermal shock. [Thermal shock is the cracking of jars from an extreme temperature swing such as putting hot food into a cold jar.] Lower wire rack once full.
- Place lid on water bath canner, return to high heat and bring water to a full rolling boil.
- Once boiling, set timer for 10 minutes [refer to Elevation Rules to determine correct processing time].
- After 10 minutes, turn off heat and remove the lid. Wait an additional 5 minutes.
- Once again, lifting wire rack and placing arms on canner rim, use the jar lifter to remove your filled jars and place on a towel in a cool & draft-free location.
- Wait 24 hours before touching the jars. After 24 hours, remove the bands and pick up each jar from the flat lid (this will help ensure that each jar is truly sealed). Once the seal is verified, you may wash the exterior of the jars, dry, label, and store for future use.
This book is a very simplistic entry into canning. As the cover states, it only has jams, jellies, marmalades, butters, fruits, tomatoes, sauces, and pickles. Many of these recipes (or variations of) are in different Ball books, but if you want to ensure ‘Entry Level” recipes, this is a great go-to.