Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pear and Buddha's Hand Butter

For the Tigress Can Jam November we opted for pears.  Twenty pounds to be exact.  I was not excited as I have never been a pear fan. But, boy was I wrong. Our pear butters turned out to be one of my favorites of the year.

Our original plan had been pear-vanilla butter with anise hyssop per a suggestion from a chef friend. (Thanks T and K.) Unfortunately, my plant died during our extreme heat spell earlier this fall. Attempts to acquire another at several Bay Area nurseries failed. However, while looking, Lisa stumbled across a Buddha's Hand tree, with numerous fallen fruit. When she inquired whether they were for sale, the nursery employees graciously offered her the fruit for free, pointing out that they had used several for Halloween costumes. So, a new plan was made.

Pear and Buddha's Hand Butter
Significantly Adapted from Perfect Preserves by Maggie Mayhew
copyright 2005 Anness Publishing

4 lbs pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
Juice of 4 lemons
2 1/2 cups water
1 vanilla pod
3 cups sugar
zest from 1/2 of a small Buddha's Hand (smaller in the photo)

Place the pears in a large pan with the lemon juice, water and vanilla pod. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes until very soft.
Remove the vanilla pod from the pan.
Puree pears and juice in a food processor.
Return the puree to the pan, adding 3 cups sugar.
Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and boil for 15 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture gels when spooned onto a cold plate.
At this point, add in the zest from 1/2 of one Buddha's Hand and stir to combine.
Add to jars, seal and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

Because we had enough pears, we opted for two variations as well:
The first had two vanilla pods and the seeds scraped into the mixture from one of the pods.
The second had 1 teaspoon cardamon and remaining zest from the Buddha's Hand.

We also made one batch of pears in honey syrup.

1 comment:

  1. Love the color of this jam and the Buddha's Hand!