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Pear Butter

Hun Bun brought home some pears on August 20, 2004--sent by Joyce, a co-worker and friend.
I sorted them and let them ripen a bit over the weekend--we had overnight guests anyway
and I needed to be alone in the kitchen to get them ready for the crock-pot.
There was enough to do one batch of pear butter.

I like this recipe because it uses just about every part of the pear.
Also, it utilizes the crock-pot--which makes this sooo easy and no scorching!!!
I developed this method years ago because I am lazy and had to
figure out a way to use up about 200 pounds of pears that were given to us.
We gave as many as we could away, we ate as many fresh as we could,
some went into the freezer and the rest was made into pear butter.

Wash and Core (don't peel, but remove any blemishes)
about 12 large or 25 small pears.
Place in a 3 1/2 quart crock-pot slow cooker.
Add 1/2 cup water and cook on low setting with
LID ON for 8-10 hours until pears are very soft.
Let cool. Drain juice and strain through a very fine strainer.
Set juice aside (or you can freeze it for another use later on--see *Notes).
Process cooled pears in a food processor until very smooth.
Measure 2 quarts (8 cups) pear puree into slow cooker.
Add 1/3 cup orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, stir.
Add 3-4 cups sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition.
(or less depending on sweetness of pears, see *note)
Cook on high setting, with LID ON for 2 hours.
Then REMOVE LID and let cook for about 8-10 more hours,
stirring occasionally if you can, (but it is not necessary)
until very thick, hot and deep brown in color.
It should be reduced in volume by about 1/3.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Adjust caps.
Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yield 3-4 pints.

*Notes - August 23, 2004 - I used 3 cups of sugar and it was plenty sweet.
I am guessing that the pears were quite sweet already.
I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in addition to the nutmeg.
I used a larger crock-pot (5 quart) and my cooking time was less--by about two hours.
I ususally put the leftover pear juice in the freezer and use it for a batch of jelly
or when a recipe calls for a unsweetened, mild fruit juice.

September 9, 2004 - Acquired some pears from my friend Carol's neighbor--they have a pear tree.
I cut the sugar down to 2 cups and I think it was perfectly sweet.

September 18, 2007 - Again, acquired 24 large pears from Carol's neighbor.
I used 2 cups sugar, juice of a medium lemon, 1/3 cup pear juice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Part of this batch will go to our unofficially adopted son, Bobby.

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August 24, 2004