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October 29, 2014

Crock-Pot Pear Butter with Canning Instructions

After being given a bushel of pears from a family friends backyard pear tree, it was time to pull out the crock pot and canner to make pear butter. A family can only eat so many fresh pears before they start to spoil.

Does the word canning intimidate you? Well I'm here to tell you that you don't have to be. It's not difficult at all, especially when using the water bath method. So follow along as I show you how I make pear butter in the crock pot, then can it.


There are several ways of preparing pear butter, but making it in the crock pot is my absolute favorite, and the only one I use. What's not to love about a crock pot? You just place the ingredients to your recipe in, turn it on and walk away. It requires little to no supervision, and produces some of the most tender and flavorful food you'll ever have the pleasure of eating. Cooking the pear butter this way helps save you from getting a nasty burn from lava hot, bubbling fruit butter too, which has a tendency to spatter when stirring it. Plus, your house will smell amazing for a whole day. A note of caution, not all crock pots are created equal. Some cook hotter than others, so if yours is one that cooks on the hot side, you'll want to keep a closer eye on the pear butter, stirring more often to make sure it doesn't scorch. Now lets go make some Pear Butter!


Crock-Pot Pear Butter

Makes 4 - 5 pints

Ingredients

8 - 10 pounds pears
1/4 cup water or apple juice
Juice of a large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
2 cups coconut sugar (granulated white sugar may be used)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Directions

Peel and core the pears and cut into large chunks.
Place pears in a 6 quart crock-pot along with the water and lemon juice. Cover with lid and turn temperature to low.
Cook for 8 hours, giving the pears a stir at the 4 hour mark.
After cooking 8 hours, take a potato masher and mash the pears up, making sure no large chunks remain.
Add the sugar and spices and stir until well combined. Replace the lid and continue cooking another 8 to 10 hours, or until the pear sauce has reached an applesauce consistency.

Notes: *About an hour before the pear butter is finished cooking, taste test it and adjust the seasonings if needed. Some people prefer a sweeter fruit butter, or one with a bit more spices. For my family and I, the above ingredient amounts are just right. We don't like ours overly sweet or spiced. You want to accent the flavor of the pears, not overpower them.

*If you prefer a smooth consistency to your pear butter, you can use an immersion blender instead of a potato masher.


So what do you do now that you have all of that delicious pear butter? You can it!



Canning Pear Butter

Equipment needed

Water bath canner
Pint size mason jars, with lids and rings

Directions
  1. Fill the canner about 3/4 of the way full with water and bring to a boil.
  2. As the water is heating up, wash the jars in hot, soapy water and rinse, then carefully place jars in the canner. Cover with a lid and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Keep the jars in hot water until they are used, or place them on a baking sheet and keep in a 200 degree oven until ready to use.
  3. Wash the lids and rings with hot, soapy water and rinse. Set rings aside on a clean towel, and place lids into a bowl of hot, not boiling water. Ball and Kerr redesigned their lids recently, and it can cause an issue with the jars sealing properly if the lids are boiled.
  4. Remove jars one at a time from the hot water or oven, place on a towel and fill to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe the rim and threads of the jar with a moist paper towel, place the lid and ring on the jar and tighten the ring finger tight.
  5. Place jars on elevated rack in canner and lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary}.
  6. Place the lid on the canner and boil jars for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove jars and place on a towel on your counter to cool completely. (12 -24 hours) After jars are cool, check seals by pressing middle of lids with finger. If lid springs back, the jars are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Notes: *To make absolutely sure the jars sealed, remove the rings from the jars and pick jar up by the edges of the lid to make sure it is completely sealed.

*If you are still unsure about water bath canning, you can find video tutorials on YouTube.

*Watch Your Altitude: It's important to take your altitude into consideration when home canning. If you live 1000 feet or more above sea level, you must adjust your processing times accordingly. Failure to do so may result in a shorter shelf life, or spoilage due to mold and bacteria, or other microorganisms that cant be detected by sight or smell. Food poisoning may occur. Please see the chart below for guidelines.


Water Bath Canning Equipment



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