Not-so-crafty/3 things with pears Part 2

Part 2:     3 Things With Pears

(for Part 1: Not-so-crafty, please click here)

So is there a recipe here or what?

This year, I am giving homemade stuff for Christmas, because I hate shopping already and shopping with a baby is even less of a party.  This probably doesn’t count as “craft” – more like, “canning” or “cooking”. And, sorry, it does require a modicum of effort, so if you’re only reading this because you were hoping for another “no-effort” recipe, you can skip on back to Regretsy.

Pear-Vanilla Butter & 2 other things with pears

Pears are on super special right now. But I don’t really like pears that much. I find the texture  bitty and weird and they lack the satisfying crunch of an apple. The skin is kind of papery and sticks in my teeth. But I really like pear-flavoured things. And vanilla-flavoured things. And jam. So this recipe caught my eye and I made it in the summer. It’s got a beautiful, delicate flavour, is not too sweet, and is so gorgeous, flecked with those little vanilla seeds. The recipe I found in Classic Preserves by Catherine Atkinson & Maggie Mayhew. It’s jam-packed with tempting recipes, from jams and jellies to chutneys, relishes and mustard. For the ol’ holiday season, I made a few of their recipes and they all seem to be working out. Everything I’ve made from the book has been delish. I’ve adapted this recipe a little cause I found it a bit tangy.

Ingredients:

2 lb pears, peeled, chopped

juice of 2 lemons

1 1/4 cups water

1 vanilla bean, split

3 1/2 cups sugar

You also need:

about 2 1/2 cups worth of mason jars and their lids.

1. Place the pears in a large pot with the lemon juice, water and vanilla pod; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Then uncover and cook for 20 minutes more or so, till the pears are soft.

2. Remove the vanilla pod from the pot and scrape the seeds into the pear mixture. Blend the fruit with the appliance of your choice till it becomes a smooth purée. At this point, if you’ve made a double batch like I did, you can take half out and freeze this pear-vanilla sauce for when your 5 month-old is ready to eat fruit.

3. Now measure the amount of purée you have, as you place it back into the pot. Add half as much sugar as there is purée (e.g. if you have 4 cups of purée, add 2 cups of sugar.) Stir over low heat till the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, put the jars and lids on a baking tray, place the tray in a cold oven, turn the oven on to 225 F, and bake the jars for 30 minutes to sterilize them.

4. Boil for 25 or so minutes, or until the mixture is quite thick and somewhat golden. It will be sputtering all over the place and making a big sticky mess on your stovetop, floor, and walls.

5. Take the jars out of the oven and ladle the hot butter into the hot jars. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth, and put the lids on immediately. Put the jars in a nice quiet place where they won’t be disturbed for 24 hours. If the lids don’t seal (the top doesn’t pop), then put the jam in the fridge. If it seals, you can keep it at room temperature for a good long while. Let it sit for a couple days for the flavours to mature before eating. For more great info on canning in general, check out foodinjars.com.

P: im soo hungry

what are we going to do over xmas

let’s think of projects.

me: besides watching 6 ft under?
projects eh… like making wreaths?

P: sure
sort of
only not that

(5 minutes)
me: what then?
P: making pine cone figurines/

On a side note, it was Ben’s birthday recently, and since he’s not into cake (???!!!), or pine-cone figurines, I made him a pear-cranberry crisp: 

Before the crispy part got put on. Pears, cranberries, vanilla and sugar…
It was really divine, especially the next day.

Pear-cranberry Crumble

For the topping: Credit goes once again to 101cookbooks.com for this amazing crumble topping recipe that has topped rhubarb, raspberry, blackcurrant and now pear crisps in our house. I’ve adapted it somewhat.
3/4 cup / 3 oz / 85 g all-purpose or spelt flour
2/3 cup / 3 oz / 85 g sunflower seeds or chopped nuts of your choice, lightly toasted (pecans would be good here if your boyfriend isn’t allergic)
1/2 cup / 1.5 oz / 45 g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g sugar (preferably brown, turbinado or natural cane sugar)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup / 2.5 oz / 75 g unsalted butter, melted
Fruit part:
4 pears (about 1 lb of fruit)
1 cup cranberries (can be frozen)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tsp corn starch
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and butter a square pan (8″ x 8″)
  2. Combine the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and stir in the butter. Form it into balls with your hands (some crumbs are OK, balls can be uneven) and pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes or so to harden.
  3. Meanwhile, chop up about 4 peeled and cored pears. Toss them in a large bowl with about a cup of cranberries (mine were frozen) and the juice from half a lemon.
  4. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds out into the sugar mixture. Mix till it’s uniform (a whisk works well, or a jar with a lid) and toss with the fruit.

5.  Put the fruit in the pan with the vanilla bean halves. Pull out the topping from the freezer and crumble it over the fruit, making sure there are big bits and little bits.

6.  Bake till the top is nicely browned and the fruit is bubbly and tender. Serve with vanilla ice cream (nothing crappy, please) or just leave it on the counter with a fork in the pan.

So, just cause I like 3 of things, here’s another cooked pear recipe from SmittenKitchen that I can’t wait to do again: vanilla-roasted pears …TO DIE FOR.
Happy Hollerdays!!
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7 thoughts on “Not-so-crafty/3 things with pears Part 2

  1. Pingback: Not-so-crafty/3 things with pears part 1 « stories for my sister

    1. Hi Kristi. I guess you can put it in a water bath if you’re nervous about it, but I didn’t water process these and I never had a problem. I pretty much never do with sugary stuff or acidic stuff unless the tops don’t pop. MMMMm…. enjoy!!

    2. Chelle

      You can and you SHOULD use a water bath. Open kettle canning is not recommended anymore. If it’s a risk you want to take yourself fine, but you probably shouldn’t serve this to infants or gift it when not using a water bath or refrigeration. Botulism and other organisms are very serious. I have in the past preserved jams this way until I learned why you shouldn’t. Better safe than sorry. If you search for ‘open kettle canning’ on the Food in Jars site you will see a post on Canning 101. http://foodinjars.com/2010/08/canning-101-why-you-shouldnt-can-like-your-grandmother-did/ Marisa explains why this method is not preferable. BTW, this pear butter recipe looks divine. Thanks for the recipe.

      1. Thanks Chelle, I probably shouldn’t be so blasée about it. So Kristi, a better answer to your question is: “Yes, you can put it in a water bath canner”. And yeah, it is divine… and I just read a recipe today for a pear-anise jam… oooh. might be time for a part 3.

  2. Amanda

    My brother in law has a prolific pear tree that I just picked, so I found your recipe on Pinterest and made a double batch. I should have made 10 batches. So delicious!! Thank you! I know what I’ll be giving for Christmas gifts this year (if I can stay out of it).

  3. Pingback: Layered Bean-Lentil Soup Jar Gift | eliza a la mode

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