I kept the flavors bright and simple with just a touch of lemon juice, plus one dry, wrinkled vanilla bean that was nearing the end of its usefulness as well. Instead of struggling to scrape out any remaining seeds from this seriously leathery pod, I simply popped the whole thing into the pot, let it rehydrate, and blended it all up thoroughly in the VitaMix. This recipe would be so easy to dress up with any number of different spices or flavorful juices though, the variations and possibilities are nearly endless. Have fun, play around with it, make it yours- I can see plenty of gifting opportunities with this sweet spread in the coming months, too!
- 12 ounces dried pear halves (about 3 cups)
- 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
- 1 vanilla bean
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
Combine all of the above ingredients in a large pot, and bring it to a simmer. Cook gently for about 15 minutes, until all of the dried pears are soft and rehydrated, stirring the mixture occasionally. Let cool for a few minutes, and then transfer everything into your food processor or blender, and thoroughly puree. The mixture will be extremely thick, so make sure that you scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to get things entirely smooth. Spoon the pear butter into clean jars, and seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, where it will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.