Slow Cooker Vanilla Caramel Pear Butter
Posted on 04 October 2013
It’s October, the best month of the year! That means it’s slow cooker month!
J’adore the slow cooker. Frankly, I’m not sure why I don’t use it more often. Typical recipes made in the slow cooker are perfect when it’s chilly outside, but it’s also practical when it’s oppressively hot since cooking doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
But you know that I am a little crazy (cray-cray, if you will) for using the slow cooker to make fruit butters. Having been burned a lot by burbling fruit butters on the stove, I am willing — nay, eager — to endure the lengthy burn-free cooking times of slow-cooker fruit butters.
Have you ever heard of Warren pears? I hadn’t until this past weekend, but they may now be my favorite fall fruit. They are smooth, sweet, and buttery, unlike the gritty supermarket pears with which I was raised. Although I used uglies for this recipe (because you know I like a good deal), the bulk ended up being Warrens.
As the pear butter cooked down, Matt (a.k.a. Mr. Taste Tester) inquired what type of alcohol was included. The answer? None. The brown sugar caramelizes, thereby lending the pear butter a lightly toasted flavor with rummy overtones — but rum-free.
That means this preserve is perfect to share with your friends and family with children or those who otherwise appreciate booziness without the actual booze. Hooray!
What is your favorite fall fruit?
Last year: Slow Cooker Triple Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving