Caramal Spice Pear Butter
By AM Northwest Staff
Caramel Spice Pear Butter: makes 9 half pints
This recipe is a revamped version from an old Sunset Magazine Home Canning book from the late '60's- early 70's. It's tried and true, and we've made it an annual holiday gift tradition in our household. Even though it says "Pear Butter", there's no butter in it, and it's relatively low fat. It goes great on anything from biscuits to grilled salmon.
I recommend peeling and coring the pears and setting them aside in a bowl of water with the 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Remove the peeled pears from the water+lemon juice, slice them and place them in a large saucepan (at least 5 qt) with the 2 cups of water. Cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and run the pears through a food mill. You should have about 8 cups of resulting pear pulp. Return the pulp to your large saucepan. In a separate frying pan, heat the 1 1/2 cup portion of the sugar and stir until it caramelizes to a medium brown color. Pour this immediately into the pear pulp, being careful as it might spatter. The caramel may harden in the pulp, (that's OK). Add your spices and the remaining sugar and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes. The caramel will melt again and the entire mixture will thicken. Stir in the remaining lemon juice just as you remove the mixture from the heat.
Prepare 9 half pint canning jars, with separated rings and lids, by checking for knicks in the glass or dents in the ring bands. Discard knicked jars and dented rings. Sterilize the jars, rings and lids for 15 minutes in a large pot of boiling water. (some of you may have the old home canning pots with the racks in them) You should have tongs and towels available. Remove a sterilized jar, drain it and wipe down the exterior with a clean towel. Scoop the pear butter into the jar to within 1/4" of the top, tap the jar gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Remove a ring and lid from the hot water and seal the jar. Repeat this process for the remaining 8 jars. After one hour or so, test one jar by pressing the center of the lid. It should not yield or pop up. If it does pop up, there is not a proper seal. I would recommend checking a reliable source such as Sunset Magazine Home Canning if you need help with basic canning techniques.