September is National Honey Month and it seemed fitting for us to celebrate. Not only because we have a pretty sweet line of honey jars, but also because we’ve been enjoying honey sweetened preserves and all the benefits of swapping honey for sugar in our jams, fruit butters and other preserves.
If you haven’t tried using honey in place of sugar in your preserves, this post about honey sweetened preserves offers some guidance on how to do that safely. We’ve also learned a lot about the addition of honey, and tried many trusted recipes from the books Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, and Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin.
In fact, we have a great new recipe to share with you today, and it’s based on a recipe from Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, by Marisa McClellan. Her book includes a recipe for Gingery Fig Butter, but instead of figs, we choose to use pears and so, Ginger Honey Pear Butter was born. (See recipe below.)
We also wanted to introduce you to CanningCrafts, our partner for our giveaway. CanningCrafts has been selling colorful, canning jar labels since 2010, and we just love their products! They have over 300 products that include custom labels, cloth covers for mason jars, hang tags, and DIY cookie mason jar gift sets. They create customized honey labels for backyard beekeepers, which is what made us think of them for National Honey Month. CanningCrafts selection of ready made and custom mason jar labels are perfect for dressing up the mason jars in your own pantry, or to give to friends and family!
We fell in love with this Vintage Honey Bee Canning Label. Since you can customize it yourself, we thought it would work perfectly in a variety of ways. Beekeepers can use it to label jars of honey. Preservers can use it to identify honey sweetened preserves.
CanningCrafts is giving two lucky winners 5 sheets of labels (2o labels per sheet). We are also throwing in a $50 store credit to Fillmore Container for each winner. You can enter to win at the end of this post.
This recipe is adapted from Marisa McClellan’s recipe for Gingery Fig Butter in her book Naturally Sweet Food in Jars.
Yield: 5 (half-pint/250 ml) jars
3 pounds/1.4 kg pears, chopped
1 cup/340 g honey
1/4 cup/60 ml bottled lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
Prepare jars, lids and a boiling water bath canner and 5 half-pint/250 ml jars.
Note: You don’t need to peel these pears. The natural pectin in the skins helps thickening. And adds flavor and nutrition. When you puree the pears (with the skins), you’ll find the skins just disappear into the butter.
Combine the pears, honey, lemon juice, and ginger in a low, wide, non-reactive pot. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the contents of the pot begin to bubble and roll, reduce the heat to medium-low. Using an immersion blender, puree the warm pears until smooth. Cook, stirring regularly until the pear puree is thick. You know it’s done because it begins to thickly coat the sides of the pan and offers more resistance when you stir. During cooking, the pear butter may have clumped up a bit. If this is the case, use your immersion blender to puree is smooth again.
Remove the pot from the heat and funnel the finished butter into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch/12 mm of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.