DIY canning, pickling and fermenting is easy with food preservation and foraging expert Leda Meredith’s latest book, Preserving Everything. Whether you’re looking to store the last of your garden vegetables for the winter or simply craving a hearty stick of pork jerky, Meredith’s techniques are time-tested and simple enough for the home cook to master. Ever spread pears on toast? No better time than the present.
This pear butter has rich flavor and a silky-smooth texture. I like it swirled into yogurt for breakfast, and also use it as an ingredient in quick breads. The recipe works equally well with apples, plums and other fruit.
- 2 pounds ripe pears
- 1/3 cup water
- juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons honey or 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
- Peel and core the pears. The grittiness that pears can sometimes have is concentrated just under the peels, so peeling the fruit makes a big difference in the texture of your final product.
- Cut the peeled and cored pears into 1-inch chunks.
- Put the pears, water, lemon and honey or sugar (if using) into a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. The pears should become very soft.
- Transfer the pears to a blender or food processor using a slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking liquid left in the slow cooker.
- Purée the pears. Add cooking liquid as necessary to achieve a thick but spreadable consistency.
- Spoon the pear butter into clean half or quarter-pint canning jars.
- Use a butter knife or a spoon to press out any air bubbles. Leave 1/8-inch of head space.
- Wipe the rims of the jars clean and screw on the canning lids.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes (adjust the time for your altitude if necessary).
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