September is usually when we go on vacation. The weather is generally pleasant and places are not as crowded as during summer. For many years we would go to Orlando and enjoyed visiting the theme parks without waiting in long lines. Then we started going to California wine country. Being there during or close to harvest time is such fun. It was in California where I had a most fabulous pear and stilton salad and from then on I always associate fall and September with pears. As soon as they appeared in my local market this year, I bought a few pounds of them and made Honey Ginger Pear Butter.
Pears were not always on my radar. In fact, I would not eat them when I was a kid. The gritty texture did not work for me. Plus I blame being subjected to canned pears at cafeterias. Now I know the texture of pears can vary depending on how ripe it is or the variety. Some barely have any grittiness to them. Bosc and Anjou are my preference for eating raw. Bartlett is what I use to make both pear sauce and pear butter.
Honey Ginger Pear Butter smells incredible when it is cooking. It fills your home with the most delightful aroma as it simmers for hours. I found myself happily going to the kitchen to stir it often and lean over the pot to take in a deep breath. Be sure to watch over it more toward the end of the cooking process. You don’t want it to get too dry or scorch. I recommend using a non-stick pan too.
About the texture of the pear butter. The finer you process or puree the pears in the food processor will make it smoother. I wanted mine not completely smooth. It could be chunky, the choice is up to you. Once Honey Ginger Pear Butter is done you can either store it in the refrigerator which will last a few months or can it to last longer. Use it as a spread or substitute for applesauce in recipes. Just keep in mind it has honey, ginger, lemon, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla in it when using it in place of plain applesauce.
Which type of pear is your favorite? I’m still deciding on which one is at the top of my list. I’m also thinking it is soon time to bake another Pear Almond Cake. Plus there may be a fizzy beverage in the works too. Stay tuned…
Honey Ginger Pear Butter
- 4 cups chopped peeled and cored pears
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 vanilla bean split length-wise
Place chopped pears in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a knife blade. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Combine pear puree and the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan (non-stick recommended).
Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until mixture is thick, about 2 hours. Stir about every 20 minutes during the cooking process.
Remove vanilla bean, scrap the seeds from the vanilla bean and stir seeds into the pear butter. Discard outer bean.
Transfer pear butter to storage jars or containers. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill thoroughly.
Take advantage of fresh fall produce and make this honey ginger pear butter. Slow-simmer pears with honey, ginger, and warm spices for a delicious spread.