I'm a native Texan with a passion for good food and Texas history. Tex-Mex is a way of life for me, and so is baking!
Spiced Apple and Pear butter is kind of becoming my canning specialty. Fruit butters are great for canning because there’s no messing around with any jelling agents or pressure canning. Just straightforward fruit, sugar, spices, and a water bath canner.
Typically, I cook up a batch of this in the slow cooker over a few days and then can it in 4 or 8 oz jars. This time I canned it in pint jars because that’s what I had handy. The butter can be spread on toast, or used in recipes that call for jam, like these chocolate chip jam bars by my friend Tracy.
Keeping little 4 or 8 oz jars of this around makes for a quick and easy grab as you head out to dinner parties or as something a little extra to throw into a gift bag. I usually put a pretty label and a little satin ribbon on my jars as I move to store them, and then it really is as simple as grabbing them out of the cupboard as I walk out the door to a party.
What’s your favorite thing to can?
Spiced Apple and Pear Butter
adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
4 lbs apples (I used a myriad of types: Empire, Jonagold, and Fuji)
2 lbs pears (Again, I used a myriad: Bartlett, Bosc and Anjou)
2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. sweet apple cider
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
Place all the ingredients into a slow cooker set on low. No need to peel or core, but I do recommend removing any stems from the apples and pears. Everything will cook down over the next few days. Stir 2 to 3 times a day just to make sure you’ve still got plenty of liquid and nothing is going to burn. On day 2, (by this time, your house smells A_MAZING), use an immersion blender to create a smooth puree. Allow to cook for another day on low, or a few hours on high to reduce down so that the flavors become pronounced.
To can, prepare canner, jars and lids. Ladle the hot butter into the jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Tap a knife into the jar 2-3 times to remove any air bubbles. Clean the rim of the jar using a damp and clean paper towel. Center the lid on the jar and screw the band down.
Place jars in the boiling water of the canner, making sure they’re completely covered. Bring to a boil again, and allow to process for 10 minutes with lid on canner. Remove the lid of the canner and allow to process 5 minutes more. Remove jars, allowing them to cool overnight. Do not move, tip, or wipe the jars until the next day.
This recipe makes approximately 48 oz. of apple pear butter. I got 3 pint jars (16 oz each) out of the recipe.