November 2, 2011

Cardamom Pear Butter

cardamom pear butter

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!”

cardamom pear butter

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!

cardamom pear butter

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.

cardamom pear butter

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.

cardamom pear butter

Peel your pears.

cardamom pear butter

Cut them into 1/2 inch cubes.

cardamom pear butter

SPICE PARTY! Cue the Spice Girls. A ziga zig AH.

cardamom pear butter

Hello lemon & sugar!

cardamom pear butter

Put it ALL in a large pot.

cardamom pear butter

Put that pot on the stove. Get the heat to medium-high. Let it go! This is what it looks like after 10 minutes.

cardamom pear butter

And after an hour, a few stirs & a few mashes with a potato masher this is it. HELLO immersion blender.

cardamom pear butter

Let me take a little pause and tell you how much I love my immersion blender. OK now let it simmer & thicken.

cardamom pear butter

Fill up your sterilized jars. Wipe the rims, seal them up & process for 10 minutes in boiling water.

cardamom pear butter

Look at that loot!

cardamom pear butter

Now spoon a little pear butter on your yogurt. Add some granola on top.

cardamom pear butter

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
  • 1/2 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.

Shutterbean Notes:

-If you’re looking for some canning HOW-TO books, I strongly suggest Tart and Sweet, by Kelly Geary & Jessie Knadler & The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, by Rachel Saunders.

  • erinlucy

    i totally call you tracy shutterbean. how did you know?

  • Connie

    I love that you gave ideas of how to use it. I’ve made apple butter before but I don’t eat toast so didn’t know what to do with it.


    • Georgia

      what else to do with pear butter…use it in plain yogurt or on top of ice cream.

  • Katrina

    This sounds lovely! It’s such a unique and yummy sounding recipe.

  • cindy

    Megan (Take a Megabite) and I refer you (lovingly!) as Tracy Shutterbean or just Tracy…like we know you or something…usually while eating pizza and/or burgers and chugging beers.

    I need to get on this pear butter business! I’ve just been topping my yogurt with honey, but I bet this is better. I don’t think enough people know about the magic that is the immersion blender, I’m glad you’re letting them know. I LOVE mine!

  • Mags

    This looks divine! I’m always paranoid that all my jars would blow up if I canned something, which I know is insane but it always seemed so tricky. My grandmother cans all the time though, she even cans in used pickle jars (and other random things) and it always turns out fine. Maybe I’ll give this a try

  • jenny

    I must admit that I’m a little intimidated by canning, so the last few years I’ve made freezer jam–cook’s illustrated has a wonderful, yummy recipe–and have just frozen my jars of apple sauce instead of officially “canning” them. (my freezer is a little full right now.) all of which brings me to my question: how do you think this pear butter deliciousness would hold up in the freezer?

  • Lauren

    Lovely photos today, Tracy!

  • Carrie

    I swear that every single thing you post on here I want to cook! (and every single recipe I’ve made from your site has been DELICIOUS!) YUM YUM YUM! I love your website.

  • heather @ chiknpastry

    looks lovely! I made a peach/cardamom jam a while back – the cardamom is awesome with jams and butters, isn’t it?!

    i made cinnamon-pear butter last year, but i let mine cook even longer because i like it extra concentrated :).

  • Nicole

    Canned goods hoardings sounds like the only kind of hoarding I want to be a part of. I would also defend current you to five years ago you. That’s right, I’d get in the middle of a Tracy sandwich and mediate a self-esteem pep talk. Yes to pear butter!

  • Julie

    Looks so good! I sometimes put cardamom in my tea or coffee, so I’m sure I’ll love this. Going to try it!

  • Shawna Greenway

    After being unhappily married to a Swede for a number of years, I never thought I’d want anything with cardamom in it ever again but this sounds delish. I MAY try this – no promises. I may have to get someone else to deal with the cardamom.

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    I bet that would be mighty tasty mixed into some oatmeal, too….

  • Ali

    So stoked I discovered your blog ! #NEWOBSESSION

  • Jen

    I agree 100% with your thoughts on canning. It’s hard work but rewarding and it sounds like you had a great time with your friends.

  • sherri lynn

    These are gorgeous pictures!! My husband loves apple butter; maybe I should give this a try next!

  • Dallas

    Saved as a favorite, I enjoy your site! 🙂

  • ashleigh falkin @ simplehonestreal.blogspot.com

    I love any kind of fruit butter. I will have to give this a shot. Thanks for sharing! Beautiful photos.

  • Erin

    Tracy! The style of these photos is awesome (on your deck? with the lacy plate and grey tones). Something a little different from you, it looks good!

    • Tracy

      Thanks for noticing! Can you believe this was a bench that my neighbors were going to throw out??!!! Crazy, right? I totally dragged it into my garage and am in LOVE.

  • Lily

    Looks yummy! Since I don’t can yet, maybe I could just eat it all up quickly 😉

  • http://sciencestage.com/d/3247737/the-gempak-barnes-interactive-objective-map-analysis-scheme.html

    The public is always right….

    What if this present were the world”s last night?…

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  • raabUSMC

    I just did this recipe with the kids (peeled 69 small pears fom the backyard) and think it came out divinely. I only modified it by substituting half the sugar with brown sugar (to add a carmelized slight rich molasses flavor) and adding juice of 1 medium navel orange along with the zest of half of that same orange. It is AMAZING. Thanks for sharing and we had a hard time sharing 2 jars with family members because of the time involved hard work, yet we wanted to share something so fantastic. The flavors are rich, concentrated yet maintains a characteristic of finesse. Riquisimo! Thanks again (signing off from Dallas, Tx)

  • Maryann Srbljan

    I’ve made this for years. Its 1/2 tsp of Nutmeg not 1 1/2. I’ve tried it that way and it is just too much nutmeg.

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