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August 27, 2008

Cinnamon and Allspice Pear Butter

pearbutter.jpg

The summer fruits are coming in and we were fortunate enough to be given some pears recently. So I decided to try my hand at making some pear butter. I didn't follow any recipe but just let my instincts be my guide with this one. One thing about fruit butters are that they are very easy to make! It set just right for a fruit butter, I think, with a great homey flavor. I made homemade biscuits this morning so that I could use the pear butter. It was perfect! So in the end here is my recipe for ....

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The pear butter boiling down.

Cinnamon and Allspice Pear Butter
about 15 to 25 small pears
water to cover
about 4 cups sugar
1 heaping tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 or 2 whole allspice, ground fine - (about 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice)

Slice and core the pears. Mine were small so just quartering them was sufficient. Then add them to large pot. Pour in enough water to cover them. Let the water get warm but not hot enough to handle yet. Take off the heat and begin peeling the pears. Once you are finished with that let the pears boil down for about 30 minutes to an hour. While in the pot mash them. Add the cinnamon, allspice, and sugar. Continue stirring and let the mixture boil until it has reduced to a little less than half.
Wash and sterilize jars, pour into pint or quart jars, and water bath them for about 10 minutes. My batch made three wide mouth pint jars.

February 17, 2010

Blackberry Syrup

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While I was intending to make a seedless blackberry jam with the wild bramble fruits here, my efforts went another direction when the smell of the boiling syrup made my other half prompt me to stop where I was at. So even though all the jelly jars and lids had been boiled and waiting for jam, they instead received syrup. I also used a Gold Peak Tea bottle to pour our "in use" syrup. Here is how I ended up making it.

I first boiled a one gallon bag of blackberries, which were this past summers harvest. The berries were frozen and I did add a little water here and there to the berries until they began providing liquid on their own. I boiled and mashed them with a fork for couple of hours. Once they had produced a lot of liquid and the berries had broken down really well I then strained the berry pulp through the cheesecloth and collected the juice. Now I needed to measure the juice to find out how much sugar to use. The juice to sugar ratio is about 1 to 1. So if you have say 2 cups of juice then add two cups sugar. Next I brought the sugar and blackberry juice to a boil. If I were making a thin syrup I would boil for about two minutes at a rapid boil. However, I let mine boil down longer than that, but not too long or else I would end up with jam. My hubby would test the syrup several times by putting it in the freezer to check how it was thickening. When we decided it was thick enough we took it off the heat and poured it into sterlized jars.

Everyone loves the blackberry syrup. We even add some to our sweet tea or have it over pancakes. It's really delicious. I've even been thinking of a way to make blackberry bon bons with the syrup - but haven't tried it yet.

Then to not be very wasteful we took the pulp, added a can of whole cranberry sauce {would have used fresh cranberry sauce if I had any}, some sugar and cinnamon mixed it together and made double pie crust. When it came out of the oven I had a glaze of sugar, milk and a little vanilla which I poured over it. It was good but our wild blackberries are extremely seedy - which is why I was making seedless jam to begin with. So the pie was indeed very seedy - however my 6yr didn't even mind the seeds. So it was worth the extra effort.

Enjoy the old fashioned way of things? Interested in the Victorian era? If so have a browse around our other site A Victorian Passage. Updated Regularly!

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