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.
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
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.