There are a few pear trees down the street that we have been picking the pears and making them into pear butter. We used to use a soccer ball to get the pears down. Our neighbor was kind enough to let us use his picking tool (with a catching basket) this past time.
Then I peel/chop the pears and put in a large pot on the stove on med/low heat. I stir every 5 minutes or so to prevent burning. Once they are soft, I use an immersion blender to puree the pears. Previously, I used a food processor (pureed the chunks before putting the pears on the stove) but I have found the immersion blender to be less work (less dishes to wash!).
Next, I add spices. In this past batch I only added 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon. John likes less spice. The previous two batches I have used other spices. One batch I added sugar (I was new to canning and thought I had to follow the recipe perfectly to prevent spoiling. I later found out that pear butter does not need any extra sugar. I am happy because I hate adding extra sugar especially when fruit is sweet enough!)
Other spices that are really nice to use: orange peel, ground cardamom seed (only a little of this! 1/8 teaspoon or less), fresh grated nutmeg, apple pie spice, whole cloves (I crush them one by one and add to taste).
I keep the pear puree cooking on the stove on low and stir every 10 minutes or so for a few hours. I want the puree to reduce down. I like my pear butter thicker so I reduce to 2/3 the original volume.
Then the canning part. If you are trying this, please read the operating instructions for your canner, different canners have different processing methods/times. I had water bath canned the previous batches and wanted to try pressure canning. Here I pressure canned 2 quarts and one pint.
A friend of mine told me yesterday that Ball Jars contain BPA (lids). I am going to call them to confirm this. If true, I will be hunting for a BPA/phthalate free option for my canning.
I love to snack on this fruity spread. It is delish, on a piece of homemade bread with a little coconut/soy-free EarthBalance.