The Kitchen Prep: Caramel-Pear Butter

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Caramel-Pear Butter

Oh my gosh, guys. The end of October is almost here, which is just crazy because I have posted exactly ONE Fall-like recipe this entire month.

That's just not ok.

:::Raising right hand::: Starting today, I vow that I will focus on posting more pumpkiny, squashy, cinnamony, spicy things.

There. Now let's get to it.

I'm easing into all this Fall goodness with something sweet, and fruity, and fabulous.

Caramel-Pear Butter

What is it? Well, a bit of a fib, for starters.

Because it contains neither caramel nor butter. {Who names these things?}

It's the same type of "Butter" as Apple Butter; a sweet, thick spread that goes well with all kinds of goodies. And as for the Caramel, I think the brown sugar in the recipe lends some of that rich, sugary flavor that makes caramel so delicious.

The truth is, once you spread this on a muffin, smear it on a biscuit, or frost a cupcake with it, you won't really care what it's called.

I'd call it, "Fall in a Jar". That's what it tastes like to me.

If you don't think this recipe is important today, make sure you keep an eye out for what I use it in this week... you'll love it. And I wouldn't lie about that. ;)

Caramel-Pear Butter
Adapted from Epicurious

2 1/2 pounds {about 4-5 good sized} Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, & chopped into about 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons apple juice or apple cider
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
A pinch of salt

1. In a medium pot, toss together apple juice or cider, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and chopped pears. {Lemon juice keeps pears from browning, so you should toss them in as soon as they are cut.}

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the pears begin to release their own juices, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Turn down heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the pears are very tender, about 20 more minutes

4. Scoop softened pears into a blender and blend until almost smooth. {Be careful blending anything hot - it tends to make liquids explode from the blender! You may want to let it cool slightly before beginning to process. You can leave it a bit chunky if you prefer that consistency instead.}

5. Return pear puree to pot and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt.

6. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened to desired consistency, about 1 hour. {Remember, it will thicken quite a bit more once it is cooled.}

7. Pour into a jar and allow to cool before sealing.

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of Caramel-Pear Butter.


Marie said...

It looks like an edible sugar scrub - fabulous!

The Kitchen Prep said...

Marie - It does, doesn't it! I wouldn't recommend trying it unless you're looking for a sticky scrub, but it does make a tasty treat! Haha! ;)

Shema George said...

look so yummy !!!

Sara Hamling said...

Is it 3 tablespoons lemon juice total? Or 1 tbs and 2 tsp? The ingredients and the directions appear to be conflicting.

Dianna M. said...

Hi Sarah, sorry for the confusion! Toss the pears with 2 Tablespoons of juice, not 2 teaspoons. Really, it doesn't have to be exact, just enough to coat them so they don't brown. Thanks for catching that!

Sara Hamling said...

Thanks Dianna! I made it last night! It tastes delicious but I ended up with between 3-4 cups worth even after cooling and it has more of the consistency of applesauce. Should I have kept cooking it longer or had the heat on higher perhaps? Trying to figure out why I ended up with so much more.

Dianna M. said...

Sarah - That seems like a lot! It sounds like maybe cooking it down further would have produced a thicker result, which in turn would have meant less volume, too. If I remember correctly, mine was thicker than applesauce but slightly thinner than jam. I wouldn't turn up the heat too high because the sugars would invite the mixture to burn, but maybe a longer cook time would work. Either way, I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope you find a way to use up the rest! I bet it would go great swirled into a cheesecake, blondies or coffee cake, or poured over ice cream. If all else fails, jar up the extra & give it away to a lucky neighbor! ;)

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