I used to make this preserve in great quantities when I lived in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, where I had a very productive Bartlett pear tree. Pear butter is every bit as delicious as apple butter, and a good use for pears that have begun to soften.
The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves Recipe © 2013 by Linda Ziedrich and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.
- 6 pounds cored and quartered pears (unpeeled)
- About 4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
- In a preserving pan, cook the pears over low heat, covered, until they are soft, about 20 minutes. If they are dense, you may need to add a little water at the start to keep them from scorching.
- Using the coarse screen of a food mill, puree the pears. Measure the volume of the puree and add half as much light brown sugar. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice and cook the mixture over low heat (or in an oven heated to 250°F), uncovered, until it is thick. This will probably take at least an hour or two. You’ll need to stir occasionally at first and more frequently as the pear butter thickens.
- Ladle the pear butter into pint or half-pint mason jars, and add lids and rings. Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.