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Pear and Butternut Squash Preserves

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Pear and Butternut Squash Preserves

Spiced butternut squash and pear preserves

Leda Meredith

A lightly sweet, spiced pear and butternut squash preserve that makes a perfect holiday gift. Lovely served alongside roasted meats or root vegetables. You can also make this recipe with pumpkin or other winter squashes. For best results, use pears that are just barely ripe and still firm (in other words, a day before they would be perfect for eating out of hand).

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Time in Boiling Water Bath: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 3 half pint jars

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, 1 1/2 pounds

  • 1 1/2 pounds pears
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses OR date honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider OR water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Small pinch of ground cloves (less than 1/8 teaspoon)

Preparation:

Cut off the skin of the butternut squash. Cut the round base of the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy seed pulp (a grapefruit spoon works well for this). Cut the skinned, seeded squash into approximately 1/4-inch dice.

Stem, peel and core the pears. Cut into approximately 1/4-inch dice.

Put the butternut squash and pear into a large non-reactive pot (no aluminum, copper, or cast iron unless enameled. Reactive metals can cause your preserves to discolor). Add the sugar, molasses, cider and spices. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, for 20 minutes.

Raise heat to high. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until most but not all of the liquid has evaporated. This will take 5 - 10 minutes depending on how juicy your pears were. Pack into clean half pint canning jars while the preserves are still hot, leaving 1/2-inch head space. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe. Press on the preserves with the back of a spoon to release any air bubbles.

Screw on canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.

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