This month I was assigned Theresa from Island Vittles. I had such a hard time picking one recipe to make this month. I ended up bookmarking 4 or 5 different things to go back and try, especially the rosemary and parmesan popovers…yum!
I finally settled on a recipe, pear butter. It sounded delicious and very seasonal.
Ironically enough, I am posting this exactly 1 year after Theresa originally posted the recipe!
Pear butter is very similar to other fruit butters I have made. It’s smooth and sweet characteristics make it ideal for spreading on toast, spooning over ice cream, or stirring into yogurt.
While I was making the delicious vat of fruit butter I started to think of possible uses…
My first thought was a turkey panini with granny smith apple slices, crispy bacon and smoked gouda. Then I thought how I could share this with a lot of people. An hor d’oeuvres tray with the fruit butter as a center piece, bread, fruit, cheese, a few salty meats and a bottle of wine would be tasty too.
This recipe is great because it leaves some room to improvise. I cut back on the sugar from the original recipe, added a bit more liquid when I started cooking the pears, and chose to add a bit of vanilla extract. But you could always adjust the recipe to your liking, maybe add in some spices or a bit of brown sugar.
A side note to those using a blender, it takes a little longer to puree all the fruit. If you have an immersion blender or good food processor that is your best bet.
- 6 1/2 lbs (about 12 large) Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar*
- Zest of 1 medium organic lemon
- 1 vanilla bean, split (don’t cut through the ends!)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups white sugar*
*I made a few changes to the recipe: I didn’t have any apple cider vinegar but… I had apple cider and vinegar. So I added 1/4 cup white vinegar and 2/3 cup apple cider. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and cut down the sugar to 1 1/2 cups.
- Combine the pears, vinegar, lemon zest, vanilla bean, and salt in a large saucepan. Cook 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pears are soft. My pears were not very ripe so I cooked the mixture for about an hour.
- Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla bean (but don’t throw it away!), and allow the mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Once slightly cooled puree until smooth, and pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer. Press on all the lumps to get as much butter as you can.
- Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean insides into the strained puree. Add the sugar and cook over medium-low heat for an hour to an hour and a half. It will be sweet and thick when done.