The weekend I spent at the FoodBuzz Festival in San Francisco, there was an abundance of really ripe pears at the Frog Hollow Farm booth. After getting to know the rep, Julia & I each scored a case of really ripe pears that were just begging to be used up immediately. The case came from Frog Hollow Farm.
For those of you who don’t know, Frog Hollow Farm is an organic farm in North Central California. They’re known for their peaches (and pears), and ship them all over the country. Trust me, its worth it – the flavors their fruits have are incredible! And the dried peaches are TO DIE FOR. Literally. Frog Hollow Farm was one of the main sponsors for the FoodBuzz Festival, and there were pears, cheese, dried fruits, figs, etc from the farm at almost every event. I definitely indulged, every time.
Once I got home with my pears, I went back and forth between attempting a pear chutney, a pear jam, pear tarts, or just a pear sauce. But in the end, my desire to try to create a pear butter, like the apple butter I made last week (twice :)), won out. I also had a ton of jars that just wanted to hold deliciousness.
So, I contemplated what to put in my pear butter, and after reading a few recipes that included orange peel (which I’m allergic to), and lemon and anise (which I don’t have), I opted to create a more general spiced-pear butter of spices I had on hand.
The mix included a few dashes of ground nutmeg, gloves and a little more generous helping of ground cinnamon. And when I say dash, I mean dash. I didn’t use a measuring spoon. And I added these spices to about a cup of sugar for the 20 something super ripe pears.
Then I followed the same procedure I did for apple butter, with the one exception of mashing the pears beforehand with my potato masher (which I got Sunday at IKEA!)
It smelled so good, but the pears didn’t end up as creamy as the apple butter. I was a little disappointed, since pairs are naturally mushier. And the flavor wasn’t as intense/great mixture, even though I added much more of the spices than I did to either of my two apple butter recipes.
Alas, I still enjoyed it (and will be for a while), and I hope those who receive it for gifts during the Holidays do as well (I just brought some apple & pear butter to Chi-town for Mr. K to give to his family as part of their Holiday gifts).
- ripe pears (I used about 20 smaller pears from Frog Hollow Farms)
- 1 cup sugar
- nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves (all ground) to taste (I put in a few large dashes of each)
Peel, core and cut up pears. Mash well – but not so much as it goes from pear mash to pear juice. Put in the Crock-Pot. Mix the sugar & spices, and pour over the top of the pears. Cover and turn the Crock-Pot on high for about 1 hour (stirring occasionally). Then, turn to low, and cook for about 5-7 more hours, stirring occasionally. Uncover and let simmer on low for one additional hour.
Then either put into sterilized ball jars and cover, and complete the canning process by submerging the jars in boiling water for about 20 minutes, or put into jars and store them into the fridge, eating within 3 weeks. If you would like a creamier pear butter, you can blend the mixture before canning/storing, but be careful not to mash too much or it will be more like pear juice.
ENJOY 🙂 And if you can – you have wonderful gifts for the holidays!