I go through phases in my life where I try to be really good at one certain thing, or perfect a certain skill. A few years ago I took up couponing, and then it was blogging, and then reading, and homeschooling, I try to be obsessed over at least one thing at all times. Most recently I've been obsessed with canning. Quite a few family vloggers that I watch on Youtube were all canning pears, apples, and grapes over the summer, and it made me think, "if they can do it, why not me?" Those have come to be the most powerful words for me in my life. Once I get the idea of, "why not me", I study, plan, prepare, and execute.
After spending about 10 hours of my life watching a million different canning videos on youtube, I'd decided that I had the general principle down enough that I could finally do it on my own. Unfortunately, I'd miss most of the killer fruit sales at the grocery store, but made it in on time to get some of the last $.97/lb pears at Walmart last weekend, and put my canning skills to the test for the first time.
I actually don't really like pears. I don't like eating them fresh, or canned, but I was heck bent on canning them, so I scoured the internet for a recipe, and found this vanilla spiced pear butter recipe (that has no butter in it, in case anyone is confused, it's basically pear jam), and it looked so good, I had to try it for myself. I tried some of it when it was done cooking, before I canned it all, and my taste buds were blown away. Think homemade applesauce, but better... and you can put it on toast, or use in PBJ everyday of your life. It feels great to finally find a good use for pears.
Water Bath Canner
8oz Jars w/ Lids
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp nutmeg
juice of 1 orange
Too make the pear butter:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. While waiting for the water to boil, get a large bowl for an ice bath, and fill it with cold water and ice cubes. Once the water begins to boil, place a few pears into the water for 15-20 seconds, remove from water, and immediately submerge in the ice water. Once the pears have cooled down after a few seconds, take a pear out of the ice water, and gently rub the peel off the pear, and put the peeled pair into a clean bowl. Do this in batches until you've peel all the pears. Once your pears are peeled, cut them in quarters lengthwise, and remove the core and stem.
Once your pears are peeled and cored, in a large pot, combine the pears, water, zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and then reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 20 minutes. Once they've simmered for 20 minutes, working in batches with a slotted spoon, remove the pears from the pot and place them in a food processor, or blender. You don't want to completely puree them into a liquid, just into a slightly chunky applesauce mixture.
Pour the contents of the food processor or blender into a clean pot, and throw away the remaining liquid from the old pot. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and orange into the new pot with the pears, and stir until all combined. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and then reduce heat and simmer until the mixture thickens and holds it's shape on a spoon (about 30 minutes).
You can then either prepare to can your pear butter for long term storage, or store in the fridge for up to two weeks. For canning instructions, continue reading.
While your waiting for your pear sauce to thicken, wash your jars with hot soapy water to sterilize them. Place the lids to the jars (not the rings), in a small sauce pan with water on the stove, and let them simmer until you're ready to put them on your jars.
Fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover an inch over the jars, and bring it to a roaring boil (this happens a lot faster with the lid on the pot).
When the pear butter is done cooking, spoon the mixture into the jars leaving a 1/4in of head space in the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a clean paper towel with hot water on it, and then place the lid on the jar, and then fasten the ring on the jar so that it's finger tip tight. repeat this process for all your jars (I got 9 eight ounce jars), and then place in the boiling water bath canner, put the lid on, and let them cook in the canner for 10 minutes. When 10 minutes are up, turn the stove off, let the jars rest in the pot for 5 minutes, and then remove them from the water bath. Jars should ping and seal within a few minutes of being removed from the water bath.