Pears are one of my favorite fruits, but they are also really difficult to nail down when they’re perfectly ripe. I bought a box of pears from the Farmer’s Market and had to use every bit of self-restraint I had to not eat them right away, but I knew they would be flavorless and hard. So I put them in a paper bag on top of my refrigerator and waited. And waited. And checked on them. And waited.
Then a few days went by without me checking them, and then I checked them and they were forming rotten spots – WHILE still being too firm to eat! I realized they would rot through before they got ripe, and my little soul cried a bit.
And then I remembered that one of my favorite ways to enjoy ANY fruit is in alcohol!
So I looked up some recipes until I found one that aligned with the ingredients I had. I cut out the rotten spots, cut up the pears, threw them in some vodka.
It actually worked out perfectly! The liqueur was ready just in time for Christmas, and was very tasty and festive!
I had doubled the recipe, and it made three 16-ounce bottles: one to share on Christmas, and two to give as gifts!
Homemade Spiced Pear Liqueur
– 2 Bosc or Bartlett pears, skin on, sliced into wedges, core and seeds removed
– 2 ½ cups vodka
– Peeled zest of 1/2 lemon (remove any of the white pith, which will lead to bitter flavors)
– 2 whole cardamom pods
– 2 whole cloves
– ½ cup sugar
– ½ cup water
- In a clean quart jar, add the pear wedges, lemon zest and whole spices, and top with vodka (add more to cover the pears if you need). Seal the jar and keep in a cool, dark place.
- After 3 days, check the progression of the infusion and make any adjustments and if it needs more time, reseal the jar and check again in a day or two.
- When your infusion is almost ready (probably around 7 days), combine the sugar and water in a small saucepot and heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Let the sugar mixture cool, then add to the pear infusion. Reseal the jar and let the mixture rest for another day.
- Line a fine-grain strainer with two layers of cheesecloth and place it over a clean quart jar, then strain the pear infusion into the clean jar. Seal the jar with the strained infusion and let sit in a cool dark place until ready for use (either at home or to be re-bottled in clean jars as gifts.) The liqueur should conservatively last for around a month when stored in a cool, dark place. To make it last for up to three months, store it in the refrigerator.
It was a big hit at Christmas, both served by itself with ice and mixed with pomegranate syrup that my sister made. Tasty, fancy, and not that hard to make! Cheers.