My former mother-in-law Elaine makes this terrific “Pear Honey” as she calls it. It is sweet and with a thinner consistency than most fruit butters, more like honey. The orange zest and orange juice contribute an additional floral note to the Bartlett pears, and the Cinnamon adds a mysterious woodsy note. Lemon juice keeps it from being too sweet. We especially enjoy Sweet Pear “Honey” over pancakes and waffles.
10 lbs. ripe Bartlett pears,
1 cup water
zest of 2 – 3 oranges, finely minced
2/3 cup orange juice concentrate
4 whole cinnamon sticks
3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1. Wash the pears, but do not peel or core them; slice them into a large heavy pot. Add the water, cover, and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool somewhat.
2. Process cooked fruit through a food strainer and then return the pulp to the stock pot and add remaining ingredients. Simmer mixture, uncovered, over medium low heat until reduced to a thick, smooth, honey consistency, about 45 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
|Old fashioned hand crank stainless steel food mill|
3. Meanwhile, prepare 9 pint jars, lids, and bands. Check jar rims for any nicks or cracks; be sure ring bands are rust-free and the lids are new. Wash jars and rings in hot soapy water, rinse well and line them up on the counter. Keep lids in a small pan of hot water until ready to use.
4. Pour hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a headspace tool or plastic knife. Wipe rims and threads of jars with a clean, damp paper towel. Apply lids and rings and tighten according to manufacturer’s directions. Process in a boiling water canner 10 minutes (pints or half pints). Adjust processing time for your specific altitude and read upon the basics of canning in a recent edition of the Ball Blue Book or contact your local Extension Service for classes and publications.
5. When processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow jars to remain in the water bath for 5 minutes stabilization time. This will reduce your chance of preserves siphoning (bubbling over) from the jars before the lids have had time to seal. Then remove jars to a towel-covered surface out of drafts to cool.
6. When cool, test for seal, remove bands, wipe jars clean and store in a cool, dark, dry place. Be sure to label them!
Yield: 9 pints