About a month ago my husband's boss gave us a big sack of pears off his trees, about 10 or 12 pounds worth. They sat for quite a while in the garage fridge waiting for me to figure out what to do with them.
I decided to use up some of them to make pear butter.
I used the recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. They have a recipe for peach butter, with a pear butter variation in the footnotes. They also have a variation that uses amaretto liqueur, which sounds delicious, but I decided to go with regular pear butter for my first time.
The recipe called for "7 lbs. of pears, peeled, cored, and chopped." What annoys me about these sorts of recipes is that they don't tell you if it's 7 lbs. before or after you peel and core them! I'd much prefer if they told me how much to have after they are peeled and cored. Much more precise that way. I mean, how do they know how much peel or core you're removing?
So I started peeling and coring and chopping them, weighing them as I went, until I got to about 5 lbs., which started to make my pot look quite full. I decided they probably meant weight before peeling and coring, so I stopped there.
I still have plenty of pears to use for other things.
After pureeing, I added the 4 cups of sugar, juice and zest of 1 orange, and 1 tsp. (approximately, since I grate it myself) of nutmeg. Then comes the part where you cook it and cook it and cook it until it thickens. Same as with the pumpkin butter, this took a really really long time. I actually ran out of time, had to stop, put it in the fridge, and finish it off on another day.
As usual, it seems every time I can things, I end up with extra jars. I managed to fill 10 jelly jars instead of 8 like the recipe said. I always sterilize an extra two jars because of this. I really don't know why it always ends up that way.