If you have a bounty of fresh pears on hand, what to do with them all? You can preserve them for year round use by making this lovely spreadable fruit. If you’re unfamiliar with what this type of preserve is, it’s not quite a sauce but thicker and richer in flavor, a delightful, silky buttery spread.
It can be smothered over toast, waffles, pancakes, scones, biscuits, added to oatmeal, dolloped over ice cream or mixed with yogurt. Blend it with some cream cheese (for bagels) or add it to your favorite baked goods (loaves, cookies, tarts, etc.). You can also use it in savory cooking with pork, chicken, ham or whipped into your favorite BBQ sauce. There’s really no limit!
This is such a great way to quickly use up the fruit if they are starting to turn and yes, it’s totally gift-worthy. Pack some extra jars to give as Christmas gifts this year, they’ll be a sure hit!
Here is a collection of recipes for homemade pear butter that I’ve found from around the ‘net, some with pretty simple ingredients while others offer a unique flavor twist. Enjoy! (Some of the summaries below are quotes from the websites).
- Sage & White Pepper: Small batch (but easy to scale up), suitable for a 2-quart crockpot. Piedmont Refuge.
- With Grated Gingerroot: Brown butter gives this spread both caramel and nutty flavours, which pair exceptionally well with the bright flavour. From Canadian Living.
- Caramel: A fuss-free recipe utilizing the slow cooker, simply dump in the ingredients and let the slow cooker work its magic. The result is a wonderfully deep, caramelized flavor that comes from slow cooking with brown sugar for hours and hours. Daring Gourmet.
- Orange & Nutmeg: Lightly scented with orange and nutmeg. This is an old recipe from a dear friend. Its taste is so good in toast or even on top of steak or chicken. AllRecipes.
- Brown Sugar: This rich and complex butter is perfect for spreading on toast, but also great with whipped cream cheese on a bagel, layering it in the middle of oat bars or to top off jam thumbprint-type cookies. USAPears.com
- Vanilla & Orange: Makes a great sandwich spread, especially with cheese. She Loves Biscotti.
- Maple Whiskey: Why not play up the subtle flavor notes in pears with complementary flavors from whiskey and maple? From Practical Self Reliance.
- Vanilla Chai: Brilliant! Steeping the fruit during their first 30 minutes with two bags of high quality chai tea. Not one to just leave things alone, I tweaked the recipe by scraping in the seeds of a vanilla bean to give it something special while intensifying that delicate, sweet essence of the pears themselves. Heart Beet Kitchen.
- Spiced: On the gift card that she encloses with these preserves, food editor Kristine Kidd tells her friends to spread this on toast, French toast or pancakes or to heat it and spoon it over vanilla ice cream. If you want to omit the canning process, go ahead since this can be stored in the refrigerator up to two weeks. From Inspired2Cook.
- How To Make It (Canning): You’ll need 6 to 7 pounds of fruit, sugar, grated orange peel, nutmeg and orange juice. Cooked in a large pot on the stove until soft then processed in a food mill or food processor. Returned to heat and simmered slowly for about an hour before ladling into jars and processing in a hot water bath. Chickens In The Road.
- With Maple & Apple: Cook the fruit with their peels, cores, and seeds to get every ounce of flavor. Regardless of what variety of fruit you use, they must be ripe, or results may be unpleasantly grainy. Fine Cooking.
- Oven Baked: For a delicious and comforting cold weather drink, try stirring a bit of this into a mug of warm milk (yum). Free Range Living.
- Low-Sugar: Quote from the site: I realize that some jams require a certain amount of sugar for the batch to ‘set,’ which is one of the nice things about making this—there’s no setting to worry about. You just let the puree cook down until it’s the thickness you desire. From Farmgirl Fare.