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.
- 25 pears, cored and chopped in a large dice
- zest of 2 large oranges
- 2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out, and pods used to steep
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup pectin
- Combine all ingredients except the pectin in a large stockpot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pears have cooked down to a bisque-like consistency, about one hour.
- Remove the vanilla bean pods and cinnamon sticks, and working in batches, ladle the mixture into the blender to blend into a smooth consistency. Return to the pot, reserving 1 cup of the mixture.
- Add the pectin to the reserved 1 cup of pear butter, whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Pour this into the rest of the pear butter in the pot, again whisking to fully incorporate it. Let cook down over medium-low heat until the pear butter turns into a smooth, thick, jam-like consistency, about 30-45 minutes more. It will coat the back of the spoon and stay separated when you drag your finger over the back of the spoon.
- Spoon into jars and can according to your canning directions, or save in the freezer.