I recently acquired 150lbs of pears. Click here to see how I made and canned pear sauce out of most of them. I had a lot of pears that would produce a lot of pear sauce so I wanted to do something a little different, a little special with a small portion of the pears.
I do not make a lot of sweet jams and jellies, so I had to look around for a recipe worthy of my pears. I do not say that to sound arrogant or braggy (is that even a word? ). Seriously, those pears were so super sweet and perfect that I did not want to try just any recipe.
I wanted a guarantee that what I made would indeed be special and turn out great! So I asked my friend Sharon, if she had a good recipe for pears and of course she did.
With her recipe I knew what I made with my pears would turn out wonderful!
This recipe is adopted from Sharon's recipe; because my pears were already fantastically sweet I did not add as much sugar as her recipe calls for. Also she tells you to start with 7lbs of pears and since I had already made the sauce I calculated how much of the pear sauce I would need.
I started with between 16-18 quarts of strained pears which gave me 23 pints. See how I strained them here.
I added 5 cups of sugar, 2 cups of orange juice, 3 teaspoons orange peel, and 2 teaspoons nutmeg. I let the pear butter cook down a bit but not a lot. I did not want it too thick. It is a matter of personal preference. If you want thicker butter then cook it down for a bit longer, just remember to keep stirring because you do not want it to burn on the bottom of the pot. Also something to keep in mind when you are reducing, the more you cook your butter down the fewer jars you will be able to fill.
Wash your jars, your lids, and rings. Place all your canning jars on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven. I let them heat up to 350 degrees to sterilize them for ten minutes then turn the oven to 200 degrees to keep them warm.
You want hot pear sauce and hot jars to go into your water bath canner. If you let either cool down too much you could end up with broken jars. Heat your lids and rings to soften the seal. If you place your lids inside your rings then you will have an easier time getting them out as the lids will not stick together. Click here to see pictures and more directions on how to sterilize your jars and heat your lids.
After you have reduced the butter to your desired thickness (remember it will thicken as it cools), fill your jars.
Remove the air bubbles from the jars. Although it seems I can never get them all out, this handy tool helps. The other end of the air bubble remover helps measure the headspace.
Leave 1/4 inch head space for pear butter.
Wipe off the rims of the jars so that you can get a good seal.
Place the lids on the jars.
Place the rings on the jars and tighten “finger tight.” Finger tight means not too tight and not too loose. Just tighten them as far as they will go without forcing them.
Place the jars in the canner.
Bring the water to a boil and start the timer. Pear butter should be processed (boiled) for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. You can find adjustments for altitude here. To look up your altitude go here. Then remove the jars from the canner.
Let your jars sit and cool for at least eight hours. Remove the rings. If the rings stay on and the lid fails (becomes unsealed) while the ring is on, the lid may reseal itself. However, bacteria has already invaded the jar and the food should not be eaten; with the ring left on there is no way you will know about the resealing. If the rings are off the lid has no pressure to reseal itself so if the lid seal fails then you’ll know and you can throw that jar out. Label and put away.
Photo Bomb: Yeah, that is my sweetie telling me he needs attention.....:)