When our pear crops begin to ripen in the Northwest, it’s always a race against time to eat them while they’re at their best. Any juicy, flavorful variety of pear that’s fragrant and barely yielding to the touch can be used in this wonderful recipe! Grinding your own cardamom also sends this to a whole new level.
Many thanks to Melissa Kronenthal, one of my favorite bloggers on earth over at the Traveler’s Lunchbox!
Pear Cardamom Butter
6 pounds (2.75 kg) ripe but still firm Bartlett pears (see note above) (about 10-12 pears)
3 cups (600 g) sugar
6 T (90 g) lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Heat the oven to 225° F and place your jars (not the lids) inside. Wash the lids with very hot water and let them dry on a clean towel.
Peel and core the pears, and cut them into large chunks. Put them in a large nonreactive bowl with the sugar and let macerate for at least two hours. They should expel a lot of juice.
Pour the pears and their liquid into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in the lemon juice and cardamom. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. With a slotted spoon, skim away any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the pears are completely soft and starting to fall apart. Remove from the heat and with a hand blender (or in a normal blender with the lid clamped down tightly), blend the mixture (in batches, if necessary) until smooth.
Return the pot to the heat and allow the mixture to simmer gently, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until the butter reduces to a thick sauce, about 2 hours. It will never really ‘set’ like normal jam; to judge its consistency chill a saucer in the freezer and drop a teaspoon of hot butter on it. When it’s as thick and spreadable as you like, take it off the heat.
Pour into your hot jars, seal tightly and process according to your preferred canning method. =
Recipe by Melissa Kronenthal over at Travelers Lunchbox.