Last week we took a lovely trip to Istanbul to visit with friends and explore the Turkish capital, and we returned to find Berlin colored in a gorgeous hue of golden autumn leaves. Although I’ve mentioned my deep love for the German Christmas season, and I was very happy to explore Berlin in the summer, the city covered in the glow of fall is just spectacular.
This beautiful fall weather is the perfect time to eat up our haul of CSA pears, which had turned overripe after their vacation in fridge while we were away. But I wasn’t sure just how I wanted to use them until I found this genius roasted apple butter recipe early in the week, which cuts the prep time by roasting uncored apples (or pears). The roasting adds a nice deep caramel flavor, and the natural pectins in the skin and seeds help thicken the butter to a creamy consistency. Although apple butter is more traditional, I love the pear version, which I have spiked with ginger and bourbon, as many good things are. It made a delicious afternoon treat on top of nice German toast, but the butter can be used for everything from a glaze for roasts to an add-in for cake and pie fillings.
Roasted Pear Butter, adapted from Food52
Servings: 2 cups
3 pounds pears, quartered
½ cup pear or apple cider
½ cup brown sugar
¼ lemon, juiced
1 small piece ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
¼ cup bourbon
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pear pieces in a large roasting pan and cover with the cider, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Grate the ginger over the pan, sprinkle with cinnamon, and dot with butter. Roast until the pears are soft to the touch, about 2 hours.
When soft, remove pears from the oven and use a potato masher or heavy spoon to mash into a puree. Run the mixture through a food mill or push through a fine chinois to remove the seeds, core, and stems. Transfer to a pot, stir in the bourbon and salt, and bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning with sugar and cinnamon and cook until desired consistency is reached. Process in canning jars or cool and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer.