Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pear-Ginger-Apple Butter

I was in the grocery store the other day when I overheard a conversation about apple Butter. That reminded me of how much I loved it growing up, & that I had never made it.

After some research & a careful review of the "aging” fruit in my garage pantry, I was determined to make a variation of the traditional apple butter recipe. Still good. But even better. The process of layering flavor upon flavor always adds depth & variety to any recipe. I needed to use apples, pears, & ginger. This seemed like the perfect way to do it. Plus, anything with alcohol in it tastes better.

I am on this big kick not to waste, since we have been participating in the fruit & vegetables co-op on a bi-weekly basis. This challenges me to come up with new recipes to encompass the produce we get,& not let anything go to waste.

Pear-Ginger-Apple Butter


2 pounds apples (preferably Granny Smith)

2 pounds red Pears

1 cup fresh peeled Ginger (cut into thin slices)

1 cup Water

1 cup dark Rum

4 cups Sugar

A pinch of Salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon Allspice

Juice of 3 Lemons

Equipment Needed

1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)

A food mill or potato ricer

6-8 8-ounce canning jars

First Stage of Cooking:

Cut the apples & pears into quarters, without peeling them. Cut out the seeds. Put the apples, pears, and ginger chunks into large pot (I use my Dutch oven), then add the vinegar, sugar and dark rum. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook the apples, ginger and pears about 45 minutes, until they are very soft. Remove from heat.

Ladle the apple-pear-ginger mixture into a potato ricer, or food mill over a medium sized bowl. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Second Stage of Cooking:

Once you run the entire batch through the potato ricer or food mill, cook the mixture in an uncovered, large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. I use my Dutch oven. It is perfect for this. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth (about 1 to 2 hours).

Canning Steps:

To sterilize my jars for canning, I run them through a cycle in the dishwasher, using very hot water. When your apple-pear butter mixture is ready, pour the mixture into sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I process the jars-sealed, in a boiling hot water bath for 20 minutes to ensure a good seal.


  1. You had me hooked with ginger and alcohol. I love the idea of not wasting anything (we're very much committed to that as well) and this is a great way to use up that store of apples. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. I made my own batch of Pear Ginger butter some time ago, sans alcohol. Maybe I should spike it with some rum or bourbon next time. :)

  3. Really great flavors here! Must try!

  4. @The Mom Chef-I'm glad to hear others are as committed to this effort as we are working to be. I think it's also a great thing to teach our children.

  5. @Tammy-I think the rum adds a depth of flavor you don't get without it. Not to say it can't also be great if you decide to omit! Good luck!

  6. @Grubarazzi-great name. Let me know how it comes out.