Sweet Pear Caramel
I learned that fruit-based caramel sauces were possible, thanks to an article posted to Gilt Taste in early 2012, which offered a recipe using strawberry purée. Once I had the formula in hand, I tried it with every variety of fruit that I could find. I came to like this version best because the mellow flavor of the pears seemed to harmonize with the toasted sugar instead of fighting it. Like all caramel sauces, this one is ridiculous over vanilla ice cream.
- Yields: 2 half-pint
1Prepare jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions for sterilized jars. Keep jars hot.
2Peel, core and chop the pears. Place them in a blender with the salt and 2 tablespoons water. Purée until smooth. You should have about 11/2 cups/370 g pear purée.
3Combine the sugar with 3/4 cup/180 ml of water in a saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sugar reaches 250°F/121°C and darkens to the color of a tarnished copper penny. Do not stir the cooking syrup; instead, holding the handle of the pot, gently swirl it to move things around.
4Once the syrup has reached 250°F/121°C, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pear purée. It will bubble, spatter, and appear to seize up, so take care. Stir the purée into the sugar until it is a smooth sauce and return the pot to the heat. Continue stirring and cooking until the pear caramel sauce reaches 218°F/104°C.
5Remove the caramel from the heat and funnel into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch/12 mm headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Note: If your caramel sauce gets too firm to drizzle easily, place the jar in a pan of lukewarm water and slowly bring it up to a simmer, until the sauce relaxes enough to be pourable.
Mrs. Wages Safety notes:
For canning safety, always consider your local altitude when calculating accurate processing times. Read this USDA guide for proper food safety and canning processing guidelines or consult the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s Guide 1 Principles of Home Canning. Also, prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions for sterilized jars. Keep jars hot.
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