It seldom snows here-years go by without a flake. The sight of a few tiny flakes dancing in the air causes little feet to run to the kitchen, looking for a carrot or two for the nose of the snowman they hope to make. They wait, their own noses pressed to the window, willing the snow to fall. Usually, those hopes are dashed when the flakes melt before they make it to the pavement. But Friday, the snow fell. Not a lot, but enough to make little hearts sing and snowmen to appear and to cause a three mile commute to take 40 minutes. As displaced Yankees, we are always in awe of the way southerners drive in the snow and the havoc they cause.
This weekend we made pear butter in a slow cooker. We found a few recipes and worked the time frame around what was plausible for us. This process took a while. We were slow-minded in figuring out this slow cooking concept. 8 hours covered and off, 10-12 hours covered on low, 2 – 8 hours on and uncovered. The math was excruciating. Were we going to have to get up at 2AM to make this “easier” recipe? We finally figure that out and then had to adapt our recipe to the time frame.
We were a little off on the time frame but pear butter in the slowcooker was exactly what we were striving for the first time. It’s perfect and we say that with no reservations. So here’s the recipe and some pictures of the snow. You can make the pear butter without canning it. It will last for up to a month in the fridge.
- 4 lbs pears – we used organic red and bosc pears – cored, unpeeled, cut in to 1-2″ chunks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/8 tsp. cardamom
- 4 orange slices
- 1 lemon slice
- 1 tbls lemon juice
In the morning, place pears, sugar and lemon juice in slowcooker. Gently mix to combine. Cover and leave on the counter all day. That evening add wine, orange slices and lemon slice to pear mixture. Put spices into a spice sack and add to the pear mixture (using a spice sack makes it easier to find the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick in the cooked pears). Cover the slowcooker and turn it on low. We cooked the pears for 12 hours. Remove orange and lemon slices and the spice sack from the pears. Using an immersion blender, puree to desired consistency. Leaving the slowcooker uncovered, cook for 2-4 hours to desired consistency. The actual work time is less than an hour. The slowcooker is doing all the work. And it did a good job.