Sometimes when I'm daydreaming I like to imagine what the Tracy Shutterbean of 5 years ago would think if she saw the Tracy Shutterbean of today. If you told me 5 years ago that people would refer to me as Tracy Shutterbean I'd be like, "Whaaat?" If you told me I'd learn how to can, have a canning party and make Cardamom Pear Butter I would have responded, "Schyeah right!"
What I've learned about canning (and there's so much more I have to learn!) is that not super hard; it just takes practice. Canning is about accepting the good & the bad. Sometimes a jar (or two) will break, lids might not seal, or a lid (or four) will drop on the floor while you're sealing the jars (always sterilize lids more than you need!). You're learning EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. The key is to stay organized!
What I learned while executing this recipe is that to call something a butter, you have to cook the mixture until it's SUPER thick. Even though I cooked this butter for the extra 20 minutes suggested by the recipe, it still hovered in the between pear sauce & pear butter realm. Perhaps I had more than 6 lbs. of pears? Maybe that's it. What I do know is that my "butter" tasted amazing and all of my jars sealed just fine. So far, so good.
The reward for hard work is opening up a jar and spooning spiced pear butter on your morning yogurt with a little bit of granola. I can see why some people have a hard time giving away their canned goods. Don't be surprised to find me on an episode of Hoarders!
And we're off!
It all starts with PEARS!
I used Bartlett for this recipe.
Peel your pears.
Cut them into 1/2 inch cubes.
SPICE PARTY! Cue the Spice Girls. A ziga zig AH.
Hello lemon & sugar!
Put it ALL in a large pot.
Put that pot on the stove. Get the heat to medium-high. Let it go! This is what it looks like after 10 minutes.
And after an hour, a few stirs & a few mashes with a potato masher this is it. HELLO immersion blender.
Let me take a little pause and tell you how much I love my immersion blender. OK now let it simmer & thicken.
Fill up your sterilized jars. Wipe the rims, seal them up & process for 10 minutes in boiling water.
Look at that loot!
Now spoon a little pear butter on your yogurt. Add some granola on top.
I bet you're proud of yourself. You have every right to be.
Cardamom Pear Butter
(recipe from Tart and Sweet, by Kelly Geary & Jessie Knadler)
Yield: 7 half-pints
- 6 pounds pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Place the pears, lemon juice, sugar, salt, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves in a large heavy pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Lower the heat, and continue to stir.. The pears will begin to break down during after about 10 minutes on the stove. You can help this process along with a potato masher.
After about an hour, remove the pot from the heat and blend the pears with an immersion blender in the pot and blend until you've reached the desired consistency.
Return the pear butter to the pot, and simmer over medium- high heat for 20 minutes longer, or until butter mounds on a chilled spoon.
Ladle butter into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Check for air bubbles, wipe the rims and seal. Process the jars in boiling hot water for 10 minutes.