The other day, Brad and Nathan and I were discussing eggs benedict, and I confessed to never having had hollandaise sauce before. Nathan looked at me with complete fascination, like I had grown a second head or something. Brad just turns to him and deadpans, “Yeah, every once in a while she’ll confess to never having tried some completely normal food. It’s like she skipped her childhood or something.”
I guess hollandaise is a big thing? I wasn’t aware.
The same can be said for pear and apple butter – I’ve never had either. I KNOW. Do you feel sorry for me? Do you feel like I’ve been living a half-life until now? I get that a lot, it seems.
So, the theme for November’s Can Jam was pomes. Not poms, as in pomegranates. No, I mean pomes, as in apples, pears, quince, etc.; I’m talking about all the fruits that have those wee little seeds in the star pattern on the inside. I decided to go with both a pear butter and an apple butter, simply because I had tried neither. Obviously, I know what a pear is (I’m not THAT deprived), so I could guess what pear butter would taste like. I decided to go with a simple pear butter, with the addition of ginger, because apparently pears and gingers go very well together, according to my trusty copy of the Flavor Bible.
And guess what?
PEAR BUTTER IS KIND OF AMAZING. This is not a revelation for most of you, I’m sure. But this is totally the pome-version of like, the discovery of the New World for me. This pear butter is not too sweet, a little tangy from the lemon juice, with that sharp bite of ginger in the background. I didn’t cook mine too long because I wanted to retain the freshness of the pears.
Up next (i.e. tomorrow): Apple butter!
Gingered Seckel Pear Butter
Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Yields 4 8-oz jars
3 pounds seckel pears, stemmed and de-seeded, quartered
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
Cook pears, lemon juice, sugar, and ginger over medium heat for 5 minutes until the pears begin to soften. Puree through a food mill and return puree to pan. Prepare canner, jars and lids. Cook until pear butter is thick and sputtering, about 20 minutes. Puree again with a blender if desired before canning. Leave 1/4 inch headspace, and process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat and let sit in canner for 5 more minutes. Remove from canner and let sit 24 hours. Check for seals and store for up to a year.
Winter Gloves / Plastic Slides