Chai and Pears

A few months after Matt and I got married, the pear tree in our back yard bloomed and we were amazed by the sweet smell that drifted into our windows.  We waited anxiously for the pears that we were sure would overload the tree.  In the 4 springs we had in that home, I’d say we got a total of 10 pears that were worth using.  Most of those pears came the year I tried making pear butter.  I swore I’d make it every year thereafter.  That was in 2008.  I have not made a single spoonful since.  Even the following year when Liam was starting solids and I was freezing everything in sight.
Anyway, I saw a recipe on Pinterest and started to drool.  I had planned to follow the recipe posted, but I noticed a box of chai in my cupboard this morning and decided to tweak the recipe a tad.  Here’s the thing: I LOVE spices and flavors and depth.  For this, I essentially took the spices for my traditional Chai recipe and added it to the pears.  I was surprised how juicy my pears were, so I had to let them cook down for quite a while.  While they were cooking, we went outside and started hanging the Christmas lights.  Even though it’s November in Ohio, the weather is quite nice and this was the perfect weekend to get the decorating underway!  When we came back in the house smelled heavenly and I’m just so excited to add these little jars to my Christmas gifts this year.
Vanilla Chai Spice Pear Butter
  • 7 lbs. Pears
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 C. Orange juice
  • 3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Wash and roughly chop the pears.  Place them in a stock pot with the water and cook until tender.  Run the pears through a food mill to remove the skins and seeds and puree the pears.  Return the pear puree to the stock pot and add in the remaining ingredients.  Turn the heat to a low setting and let the pear mixture simmer until it has reduced in volume and water no longer separates out.  When the pear butter is thick and fragrant, pour into sterilized half pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Cap the jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. 

**Note:  The word Chai in Hindi actually means tea.  So… it’s not Chai tea, it’s just plain old Chai.  Trust me.  I drank plenty of it in June in Calcutta.  Just plain Chai. **

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