A sure sign of fall on its way is the return of pears here at the farm. We are blessed with a huge old pear tree that Frank and Rita planted when they lived here and another on our back neighbor’s lot, from which I also usually get some fruit. Both seem to be some old variety of pear, hard to identify but similar to a Bartlett.
The pears aren’t quite ripe yet but I’ve been fighting with raccoons who climb the tree, pick the pears, half-eat them and toss them on the ground. The grass under our tree is littered with half-eaten pears. So looks like I’ll be picking them a bit under ripe this year if I want to get any!
They still work beautifully for my favorite pear product: spiced pear butter.
I start by softening them in water on the stove. Then I run the fruit through a food mill to get all the seeds, skins and stems out.
The pulp goes into my crock pot with brown sugar and spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger and cardamom) and cooks for a whole day until it is thick and dark and smoky sweet deliciousness.
Then I can it and it’s ready for my pantry … or yours!
The first batch I made up used 14 pounds of pears and made 13 8-oz jars so you’re getting about a pound of pears in every jar.
Next time I gather some pears I want to try a new recipe: pear jelly with lavender. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Stay tuned!