Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.
By the time November rolls around, the abundance of summer is well behind us. No more mountains of peaches and plums at the farmers’ markets, just pumpkins, potatoes and hearty greens. It’s enough to make a preserver hang up her canning pot until spring.
However, I’ve found that if I spend just a little bit of time searching out ingredients, there’s still a world of delicious things just waiting to be cooked up and put into jars.
All photos by Marisa
Chief among those this time of year are pears and cranberries.
Not only do they both come in a world of varieties, but they make such excellent sauces, jams and butters. I like to cook with thin-skinned pears like Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou pears, because they don’t need to be peeled before cooking.
This is the first year that I’ve combined the two, and I must confess, I’m smitten with the result. This preserve is halfway between a sauce and a butter, making it good both for stirring into yogurt or dolloping atop a short stack of pancakes (or, if I’m being entirely honest, eating straight out of the jar).
My latest batch made two full pints and I’ve stashed them both in my younger sister’s pantry. She’s currently expecting her first baby, and I’m imagining her eating this compote one-handed, stirred into some cottage cheese.
I do so love the idea of stocking her kitchen with useful food for those late nights and early mornings.
TIP: And if you’ve never tried them, make sure to search out some of those red and white striped cranberries this season. They are sweeter than their crimson cousins.
|Pear Cranberry Compote|| |
- 3 pounds thin-skinned pears
- 1 pint cranberries (approximately 8 ounces)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Chop pears into small pieces. Place in a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot. Add cranberries and orange juice.
- Put a lid on the pot and place it over low heat. Cook until the pears are very, very soft and the cranberries have popped, about 1 hour.
- When the pears are soft, use a potato masher to break the fruit. Add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Raise temperature to medium-high heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, to help evaporate the liquid in the compote. When it has darkened in color and no longer looks watery, it is done.
- Funnel compote into prepared pint jars and process in a boiling water for 20 minutes. Be sure to read our post on Canning Basics if you have any questions.
- When time is up, place jars on a folded kitchen towel to cool. Once jars are cool, check seals and store in a cool, dark place.
How do you like to use fresh cranberries?