Friday, June 29, 2012

Toast Topper #3 (Small-Batch Almanac Pear Butter)

Continuing in the theme of nummy fruit-based options for your favourite toasted carb, I broke out one of the staples in our fruit basket for the next spread, also adapted from the Old Farmer's Almanac Garden-Fresh Cookbook. Pears were historically called the "gift of the gods"- and it's easy to see why. Filled with fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and copper, pears are also considered hypoallergenic and have such minimal levels of oxalates and purines that they're not reliably measured. The riper they are (until they go rotten), the higher in antioxidants they are, and the sweeter they taste!

Since I picked perfectly ripe-for-eating specimens of the already candy-like forelle pear for my small batch of pear butter, I let them sit out on the counter another two days or so to solidify their flavour. The extra ripening time, coupled with the long, slow cooking, meant that the natural sweetness of the pears condensed into a dark gold caramel all on it's own, no sugar required! At the end of the cooking time, the flavour was more of a rich butterscotch than a fresh, crisp pear, but it was perfect to go with pancakes, waffles and of course the family favourite bagels! If dulce de leche had a fruity cousin, this would be it.

I'm passing on this rediculously decadent and nutrient-packed spread to Ricki's Wellness Weekend!

Small-Batch Almanac Pear Butter
Makes about 1 cup, 8 (2-tbsp) servings
2 cups unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
2 (1-inch) slices fresh ginger, left whole
pinch allspice
2 large pears (I used 3 forelles because they're smaller), peeled, cored and diced
  1. In a saucepan, bring the apple juice, ginger and allspice to a boil.
  2. Add the pears and reduce to a simmer.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove ginger slices.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring regularly to prevent sticking, until the mixture is thick, smooth, spreadable and a dark-brown caramel.
  5. Can in a water bath or spoon into a clean jar and keep in the fridge up to 6 weeks.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 60.0
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.9 mg
Total Carbs: 15.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 0.2 g

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