6- 1/2 pounds, 1-78 ounces, weight Bartlett Pears, Peeled, Cored And Roughly Chopped (12 Large)
1/2 cups Cider Vinegar
1 whole Lemon, Zest Only
1 whole Vanilla Bean, Split (see Notes Below)
1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 cups Sugar
In a large saucepan combine the pears, vinegar, lemon zest, vanilla bean halves and salt. Cook gently over medium-low heat until the pears are very soft and begin to break up, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean, but do not discard. Puree the pears in a food mill fitted with a fine plate, or use a spatula (and a little muscle) to force the pears through a fine sieve. Discard the very small amount of fibrous pulp that you wont be able to get through the sieve. Scrape the seeds from the now cooled vanilla bean and add them, as well as the pear puree and sugar, to a clean pot over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the pear butter is thick and mounds high on a spoon, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Reduce the heat slightly as the mixture thickens to avoid it scorching on the bottom of the pot. Fill sterilized 250ml jars and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Note: In this years batch, I used 2 whole star anise instead of the vanilla bean. I removed them before putting the pears through the sieve, and then added them back, whole, to the puree while it cooked. My instincts about a good match between the licorice and the pear were totally substantiated, and even the doubters (Howard) had to admit it was probably better than the vanilla version from last year.