What the heck is pear honey? It’s Judy Hudgins’ family recipe. “We always called it honey, for no reason that I know of other than that’s what we always called it — I guess because it’s sweet,” says Judy, a Good Neighbor Cook in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“What makes this recipe different from a jam, jelly or preserve is that you are relying on the natural pectin in the fruit so it doesn’t ‘set’ or get that jelly-like texture you normally associate with jams or jellies,” Judy says. “It comes out almost like a chunky applesauce with a really thick syrup to it.”
Judy’s father grinds the fruit with an old grinder, “much like a meat grinder you would use for making sausage,” Judy says. Judy uses a cheese grater on the coarse setting. “Aim for something the consistency of minced garlic,” she says.
Normally with a jam or jelly you have a real definite time you boil the mixture. With this, it is a lot more forgiving and relaxed, so I am usually doing other things while making it. I just need an apron to feel like my grandmothers!
Pear Honey (Can be made with apples, too.)
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 pints
8 cups peeled, ground fruit, from 16 to 24 firm pears
6 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
Grind fruit using a grater and measure. Place in a large saucepan along with with the sugar and water. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pineapple and simmer 10 minutes longer. Can while hot.
For canning tips and products, check out Ball’s amazing and very helpful website.