Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vanilla Honey Pear Sauce

A few weeks back, Marc and I were visiting my Grandparents on Vancouver Island.  Gramps is pretty big on FreeCycle and through one of these websites he saw a posting for a pear u-pick not too far from his house.  The family who posted had a bosc pear tree in their backyard that was producing like crazy - far too much for them to eat themselves!  Marc and I went there and picked enough pears for both Gramma and I to can for the winter.  

We brought the pears home, and before I knew it, 2 weeks had passed and the pears had all ripened and were ready to be made into something.  Since I've been working a lot I wanted to make something quick and easy that didn't require too much effort.  Thinking back to my adventures with Apple Butter last summer, I pulled out and my slow cooker and spent about 10 minutes slicing the pears and combining the ingredients.  The rest of the day I went about working and didn't have to think about the sauce again until it was nearly finished.   

Our house smelled so incredible throughout this entire process, and the homemade pear sauce was absolutely delicious. We have been using it stirred into oatmeal, yogurt, or just on it's own!   I even made a batch into pear butter (instructions at the end of this post), which is one of my all-time favourite types of spreads. 

- 2 dozen ripe pears (or as many will fill in your crockpot! 
- 2 vanilla beans, scraped (or 4 tsp extract)
- 2 tbsp honey (more or less to taste)

Peel and slice pears being sure to discard the core, then add them to pot. 

Scrape vanilla beans and add both the scrapings and pod to pot.  If you are using vanilla extract, omit until the very last step so it doesn't evaporate. 

Stir in honey, then place lid on crock pot. 

Cook on low for 8-12 hours or high for 6-8 hours.

When pears are as soft as you would like them to be, then blend the entire mixture (an emersion blender would be good for this step). I like to blend my sauce until completely smooth, but by all means leave it chunky if that's what you prefer.   Once you are finished blending the sauce, return it to the crockpot to warm back up (about 20-30 minutes on high), then transfer to mason jars. 

* To make pear butter, return pear sauce to slow cooker and cook on high, without lid for and additional 2-4 hours, until sauce has turned a deep caramel colour. 



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