Those food memories are fondly tucked into the back of my mind now, and while the days of inch thick peanut butter on toast dripping with syrup are more or less behind me the yearning for that decadent caramel flavour still comes around now and then. Taking those memory cues as a guide, I started to make apple and pear sauces with brown sugar and a pat of butter at the end, then eventually devised this spicy, darkly sweet jam that had the long-cooked flavours of caramel and fruit crisp but without the dairy and fat of "true" butter and far less wait time. Now, smeared over a (modest) layer of peanut (or the current household favourite, almond) butter on grainy country bread, the spread is even better than a sundae and twice as nutritious!
By the way - this jam is not a one trick toast pony! For what its worth, a spoonful or two mixed with leftover rice (my favourite right now is "wild pecan" rice) and a little cashew or almond milk on the stovetop turns into heaven in a bowl for dessert, and smeared onto pancakes or even leftover tortillas with a scattering of chopped almonds makes for a decadent breakfast. How would you enjoy a spread like this?
Caramel Pear Jam
Makes about 6 half-pint jars, 48 (2-tbsp) servings
1 (49g) package "No Sugar Needed" pectin
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
4 cups (about 8) diced peeled and cored pears
2 tbsp amber agave nectar or dark honey, warmed until liquid
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
¼ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp caramel flavouring , optional
¼ tsp butter flavouring, optional
- In a bowl, combine the fruit pectin with ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, mixing well.
- Add the pectin mixture to the pears in a large pot and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil.
- Stream in the agave, followed by the remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar and spices.
- Stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil.
- Boil for exactly 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in caramel and butter flavourings.
- Process 10 minutes in a waterbath.
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.7 mg
Total Carbs: 16.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.0 g