Humble pear butter gets a sweet, salty, and habit forming makeover in this recipe for Salted Caramel Pear Butter. Try it on ice cream!
This post is sponsored by the makers of Ball® home canning products.*
Pears are such a great fruit for preserving. They make gorgeous jams, compotes, preserves, syrups, chutneys, and even caramel sauces. They are also perfect for cooking down into fruit butters. I typically make pear butters with lots of lemon juice and limited sweeteners, but when I saw this more indulgent Ball®Salted Caramel Pear Butter, I knew I’d have to make a batch.
You start with four pounds of pears. Peel and slice them, and heap them in a slow cooker. I used a four quart cooker and it was the ideal size. Add 1/3 cup of apple cider (not vinegar!) and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Put a lid on the cooker, set it to high and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the pears are tender enough to puree with an immersion blender or in a blender carafe.
I used my favorite vintage slow cooker so it took closer to an hour for my pears to cook to the point where they were soft enough to easily blend.
Once you’ve blended your pears, stir in 2 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar (this ingredient brings the caramel flavor, so don’t skimp and don’t swap in light brown sugar) and 2 teaspoons of flakey sea or kosher salt.
Cook on high for 3 or 4 hours, giving the butter a stir whenever you walk by (about every half hour is ideal). Make sure to vent the slow cooker by either putting the lid on at an angle, or by placing a chopstick or wooden spoon across one end of the cooker. Rest the lid on the chopstick/wooden spoon so that the steam can escape.
When the pear butter has reduced in volume, has thickened nicely, and sits up tall in the bowl of a spoon, it is done and is ready to can.
Prepare your boiling water bath canner.
Fit your pot with a rack (I like the silicone mat that comes with the Ball® Canning Starter Kit). Place four half pint jars (I used Ball® Smooth Sided half pints here) on top of the mat and fill the jars and pot with tap water. Add a generous splash of white vinegar to prevent mineral deposits on your jars, and place the pot on the stove to heat.
Wash your new lids and rings with warm, soapy water and set them aside so that they’re ready for you when you’re ready for them.
Get a hot jar from your prepared canner. Funnel hot pear butter into the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rim, apply a clean, new lid and a ring and return the jar to the canner. Repeat this process with the remaining jars and butter. Process the sauce for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation.
When the processing time is up, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the pot and let the jars stand in the pot for an additional five minutes (this allows them to cool more gradually, which helps prevent siphoning and should also help develop a more robust seal).
Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel. Let them sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours so they can fully cool and seal. Before storing, make sure to check that the seals are firm and unbending. Sealed jars are shelf stable up 18 months, any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
The finished butter is just so good. I love it on peanut butter toast, but I can also imagine using it to fill a harvest-themed layer cake. It would also be excellent swirled into yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. I can also see it being a really great addition to holiday gift baskets. All I know is that I’m going to need another batch!
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.