Yield: About 7 half-pints
6 ½ pounds Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch cubes
Juice of 1 large lemon
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Tumble all ingredients except butter into a slow cooker. Stir to blend, then cover and cook on low until the pear butter is very thick and mounds on a spoon, 8 to 10 hours. Test its readiness by placing a spoonful on a plate; if no liquid escapes around the edges, the pear butter is ready. If it weeps, continue to cook with the lid crosswise to allow excess liquid to evaporate.
2. Stir in the butter until it is fully melted. Ladle the hot pear butter into sterile half-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. To can, apply lids and rings just until finger tight; process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. To freeze, allow the pear butter to cool to room temperature, then freeze without lids. Once pear butter is frozen, add lids and freeze for up to six months.
Per tablespoon: 21 calories; no fat; no cholesterol; 5g carbohydrates; 3g sugar; no protein; 5mg sodium; 1g fiber