I love the magic quality of this recipe, in which just one ingredient – pears – cook in a bit of water until they are completely transformed. The result is a naturally sweet spread perfect for toast or pancakes, or stirred into some natural yogurt. It is also a great way to use up any pears that are less than perfect or slightly past their prime.
This is good fun to make with children. They can chop the pears and stir the pot, and will be amazed at how cooking can completely change an ingredient.
4 large pears or 6 medium (about 1.2 kg total)
200 ml water
Core and chop the pears, but do not peel them, and put in a pan with the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until pears are tender, about 1 hour.
Once the pears have softened, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 2-3 hours, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is smooth and brown and there is no visible liquid. You will need to stir more frequently towards the end of cooking, to avoid scorching.
Cool to room temperature and blend in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.