Thursday, October 9, 2008
caramel pear butter.
yes, it IS as good as it sounds! i was introduced to this recipe by my 'swedican' friend julie...and thank goodness for THAT. she and i recipe swap almost every other day and earlier this week she told me about this recipe she found in her bon apetit magazine. 6 simple ingredients combined to make a masterpiece perfect for the fall season. i was crossing everything on my body as i walked to the market this afternoon, hoping they would have pears in the produce department. as mentioned in previous posts, our produce here in la palma is questionable...and i'm often left without what i need. hey, i'm not a bitter blogger, just an honest one ;) but alas! la mercado had pears o' plenty! i wasn't sure how many i needed (as the recipe from epicurious.com was in american conversions and not european), so i grabbed about 10 pears and went on my way! i arrived home, made a quick lunch for the swede and i and got to work on my pears. i could hardly wait! i only had 1/3 of the brown sugar the recipe called for, so i cut the entire recipe into (yes, you guessed it) 1/3. first, i added apple juice and fresh squeezed lemon juice into a deep stainless steel pot. then i peeled, cored and cut each pear into small chunks and added them to the pot. i brought this mixture to a boil for about 15 minutes (continuously stirring)...then lowered the temperature to about medium-low and simmered it for another 20 minutes, covered, but still peeking and stirring every 5 minutes or so. i removed the pot from the heat and gave it a quick puree with my hand mixer. i returned the pot to the heat, added a little more lemon juice, a pinch of coarse salt, a packed cup of brown sugar and a tad bit o' nutmeg...the nutmeg is KEY! it absolutely shines through in the final product. and as my dear grams always tells me, nutmeg is every good recipe's secret ingredient. after boiling this sweet mixture for about 45 minutes-1 hour, i removed it from the heat and poured it in hot jars that i had just sterilized in boiling water. my clever mama taught me a secret to remove the air bubbles...so i took her at her word and held a stainless steel butter knife in the jar as i poured the 'butter' into the jars. apparently that does the trick! i screwed the sterilized lids on tight and put the jars in boiling water for about 10 minutes to 'process' them as the recipe says. after all this, my only complaint is that 1/3 of the recipe only yields about 1 1/2 small jars. i can already tell i'll be pining for more in a few days. i have about 6 pears left, so if i can get my hands on some brown sugar this weekend, i'll for sure be making more. happy october...och tack så mycket söt julie!