Let’s be honest: there’s baby weight, and then there’s grad school weight. And as long as we’re putting on weight, may as well make it worth it. This pear butter is golden, just the right amount of sweetness, and will put you in all the good graces of anyone lucky enough to get a homemade jar from your hands.
- 20 pears, cored and chopped in a large dice
- zest of 2 large oranges
- 2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out, and pods used to steep*
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 teaspoons anise seeds, depending on your taste
- 4 cups sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pears have cooked down to a soft texture, and most of the liquid has cooked off so the whole mixture looks almost like a can of apple pie filling (it will be a little wetter, not quite so much of a gel like the canned pie filling). This will take about one hour.
- Remove the vanilla bean pods and cinnamon sticks, and working in batches, ladle about 5 cups of the pear mixture into the blender to blend into a smooth consistency (I usually do this in just two batches).
- Spoon into jars and can according to your canning directions, or save in the freezer. (I always make 5 jars as “canned” jars to save in the pantry, and then fill an extra jar to keep in our fridge to eat right then. The “extra” jar isn’t quite filled to a full pint.)
* If you don’t have vanilla beans, you can add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract while you are blending it; it will have a nice vanilla flavor, but you will miss the nuance whole vanilla beans give to the butter (I know I did when I made it with extract instead of beans!)