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CARAMEL SPICE PEAR BUTTER

Makes 9 half pints

15 Bartlett or other large, firm, ripe pears

2 C water

6 C sugar

1 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 T lemon juice

Wash and core, but do no peel pears. Slice and place in a 5-quart pot. Add water, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until tender.

Let cool slightly, then force through a Foley mill, sieve or whirl in a food processor until finely chopped; return to kettle.

In a wide frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 Cups of the sugar, stirring often, until it caramelizes to a medium brown syrup. Pour immediately into pear pulp (syrup will sizzle and harden, but dissolve again as the preserves cook). Stir in remaining 4 1/2 cups sugar, cloves, cinnamon and ginger until well blended.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, uncovered for about 45 minutes or until thickened. To prevent sticking, stir frequently as mixture begins to thicken. Stir in lemon juice just before removing from heat. (This step can be done in a crockpot: low setting for 5 to 7 hours.)

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Seal and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

June