Archive for the ‘canning’ Category

Pear Butter

Another thing my friends and I cooked up this past weekend was pear butter.  It is incredibly good!  This recipe (adapted from Bon Appétit) has cardamom, wine, and vanilla, to give it a floral note as opposed to the exact flavorings of the traditional apple butter.  I’m adapting the recipe after doing it the harder way, but I am glad I tried it so you can have the easier way to do it.  Pear butter is perfect for spreading on anything you would normally put butter on: toast, muffins, brie.  You can even top your granola and yogurt with it (my favorite way).  It is great for you, but your friends will surely want some too! 

Pear Butter

4 pounds Bartlett pears (cored and peeled) cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 orange slices
1 lemon slice
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of salt


Combine pears, wine and lemon juice in heavy large saucepan. Cover and simmer until pears are soft, pushing unsubmerged pears into liquid occasionally, about 25 minutes. *Transfer to a food processor and puree.

Pears are soft and ready to go to my food mill (remember you can save time by peeling them first!)


*At this point the recipe called to pass unpeeled pears through a foodmill.  I founds this to be more work than necessary.  It is easier to peel and core the pears beforehand, and then after they are poached, transfer them to a food processor. 




I felt like Julia Child using a food mill. Although I still think it has its place, here it lengthened the prep time. I suggest peeling the pears and processing them instead!









Return puree to heavy large sauce-pan. Add remaining ingredients.  *Helpful hint: If you have a cheesecloth or even a coffee filter would work tied with kitchen twine- put the ingredients you will need to fish out in the end, here; your cloves, cinnamon, orange slices, and lemon.  It makes it much easier in the end.  Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and boil gently until mixture thickens and mounds slightly on spoon stirring often, about 50 minutes.  If it has been 50 minutes and your pear butter is still not thickened up, don’t be afriad to continue reducing it at a lower heat.  It will be about the consistency of apple sauce.  Also remember it will thicken slightly once cool.

Discard fruit slices, cloves, and cinnamon. Spoon butter into hot canning jar, filling only to 1/4 inch form top. Immediately wipe rim, using towel dipped into hot water. Place lid on jar; seal tightly. Repeat with remaining jars.

Arrange jars in large pot. Add boiling water to pot so that at least 1 inch of water covers tops of jars. Cover pot and boil rapidly 15 minutes. Remove jars from pot. Cool to room temperature.  If lid stays down, jar is sealed. (If lid pops up, store butter in refrigerator.) Store in cool dry place up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.


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Over the past weekend, my friends April, Whitney, and I gathered together for what I believe was our 4th annual “homemade gifts day”.  It’s become a really fun tradition to get together and enjoy our time in the kitchen; something we all have agreed seems so natural for women to do.  Of course, if this isn’t your cup of tea I do not mean to discourage you in any way!  Everyone has different strengths- but for us, cooking, baking, and canning for a whole afternoon seems to go by so quickly!  We just chat away, enjoying each other’s fellowship, and feeling very productive at the end of the day from the fruits of our labor!  And of course, Whitney (another huge foodie) made us an amazing lunch that consisted of Sweet Potatoe, Carrot, & Rosemary soup with warm Prosciutto, Pear, & Gruyere Paninis-now that is a complete afternoon! 

You can look forward to this recipe soon!

On this particular day we decided to try out my newly learned canning “techniques”.  And we decided to can Whitney’s mother-in-law’s Cranberry Chutney, pear butter, and pickled dilly veggies.  Today I’m going to share the Cranberry Chutney recipe with you.  This is a gorgeous chutney*, it looks so festive in its pretty mason jars, just ready to celebrate the holidays, and of course, it’s also delicious!  This makes a great gift paired with a home-baked bread or served along any poultry or game. 

*What is a chutney?  Pronounced CHUT-nee, the word come from the East Indian chatni, this spicy condiment usually contains fruit, vinegar, sugar, and spices.  It can range in texure from chunky to smooth, and in degrees of spicyness from mild to hot…The sweeter chutneys also make interesting bread spreads and are delicious served with cheese.  Barron’s, The New Food Lover’s Companion.

Holiday Cranberry Chutney

  • 1 lb. cranberries
  • 1 c. orange segments
  • 1/4 c. orange juice
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. chopped unpeeled apple
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 T. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon


Combine all your ingredients in a non-reactive medium-large saucepan and set over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until cranberries have burst.

Aren't the colors gorgeous?!The fruit mixed with the sugar, vinegar, and spices.

Simmering cranberries starting to burst.

Spoon into sterilized jars and follow standard waterbath procedures if you want to keep these in your pantry.  Otherwise enjoy fresh and refrigerate the rest.  Should last about a week in your fridge! 


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Long Week Culminated by Bazaar

Hello Friends!  It seems like forever since I wrote on this blog, and I’m so sorry to have been m.i.a. for so long, but I promise you I was cooking!!  I just wasn’t blogging about it.  But here is a quick recap of this past week. 

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My little table at the bazaar turned out quite cute!  I was so excited to represent my homemade items there.  “Gourmet, all natural, no preservatives, all ingredients you can pronounce…” was something I said over and over again.  And I must give huge props to my dear husband, who took such an interest in everything I made, and instead of leaving after 5 minutes of visiting my stand, decided to stay and let my parents-in-law watch our son!  What an amazing man I married!  He was quite the “silver tongue” at the bazaar and sold quite a few passerby’s by catching their attention with triple chocolate brownies and homemade pumpkin butter.  We did end up selling out of the pumpkin butter, it turned out to be our most popular item!  It was a very satisfying day and event.  Thank you to all who came out and supported me!

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