Ingredients Makes about 2 cups (500 mL)
|3 lbs||ripe pears (about 9)||1.5 kg|
|1 cup||unsweetened pear nectar or apple juice||250 mL|
|2 tbsp||freshly squeezed lemon juice||30 mL|
|3⁄4 cup||granulated sugar||175 mL|
|3⁄4 cup||packed brown sugar||175 mL|
|1⁄2 tsp||ground cinnamon||2 mL|
|1⁄4 tsp||ground ginger||1 mL|
|1⁄4 tsp||ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated||1 mL|
|Pinch||freshly ground black pepper (optional)||Pinch|
- Cut pears into quarters and trim out cores, stems and blossom ends. In a large pot, combine pears, pear nectar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until pears are very soft. Let cool slightly.
- Using a rubber spatula, press pears and liquid through a mesh sieve into a clean pot, discarding skins (or pass through a food mill fitted with a fine plate).
- Stir granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper (if using) into purée. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often and reducing heat further as mixture thickens, for about 45 minutes or until thick enough to mound on a spoon (it will thicken more upon cooling). Let cool.
- Use immediately or transfer to a jar or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Use any pears that hold their flavor when cooked. They can be firm or soft varieties, but avoid those that are best suited to eating fresh, such as Anjou pears, as they’ll be bland once cooked. Make canapés by spreading pear butter on fresh baguette slices and topping with crumbled blue cheese or a slice of Camembert; broil to warm the cheese, if desired.