Yesterday was National Food Day, and we had a lovely time participating in the Boston Food Swappers‘ community-sourced potluck in Boston. I was one of the judges, and everything was just delicious. I hope the winner enjoyed our Eat Boutique gift box! Still, I couldn’t get my mind off of this Pear Liqueur made all the way on the other coast by Denise. I’m certain I’ll find some ripe fruit to make this recipe soon, and I can’t wait to take a peek at my Seckle Pear Liquor I started last Fall. -Maggie
Eau de Vie is a delicious pear liqueur that is made with fermented fruit. The first time I had a sip was years ago during a trip to France. I fell in love with the tradition of having a small glass before dinner, nightly, during that trip. Once I settled back home, and slipped into my routine, I quietly forgot about my love affair back in France.
It wasn’t until I was playing with a new recipe that called for pear liqueur that I remembered this delicious beginning to my French meals. After failed attempts at finding it in my area, I resorted to trying to make my own. Since I do not have the resources nor space to be able to properly ferment as well as distill traditional Eau de Vie, my version is not true to the name. Instead, I refer to it as Pear Liqueur.
I have found that the finished liqueur is cleaner when I use 100% vodka instead of 80% vodka. It is challenging to find, but if you go to a liquor store they should be able to direct you to a couple options. No need to go with the most expensive brand; they are all basically the same. If you cannot find 100% vodka regular vodka is fine to use; the only difference will be that the liqueur is not as smooth. Honestly most people will not be able to tell the difference.
I use the ripest pears I can find, and I always peel them. You will see some recipes out there that do not ask you to do this step. Do it! The nectar from the ripe pears is exactly what you want to flavor the vodka. I also add a couple crushed cardamon pods, as well as a strip of lemon peel; it adds a lovely warm depth to the finished liqueur.
The hardest part of making pear liqueur is waiting for the week to end. You may be tempted to go sneak a peek. Don’t! Remember, good things come to those who wait. The finishing process is ridiculously easy. Simply mash your pears into the vodka, strain the mixture a couple times, and then bottle. You can enjoy a glass immediately or store it in the freezer until ready to enjoy.
Makes 1 quart size mason jar
- 3 pears, ripe
- 2 cardamon pods crushed
- 1 2” strip of lemon peel
- Peel the pears and slice into thin slices. Gently put into the mason jar. Add the cardamon pods and lemon peel. Fill with vodka. Tighten the lid onto the jar. Gently shake a couple times. Set aside in a dark and cool cupboard for 1 week.
- After a week, remove from cupboard. Pour the pear mixture into a mixing bowl and gently mash using the back of a fork. Strain into another bowl, using a colander that has been lined with cheesecloth. Repeat this process a couple times, depending on how filtered you want your liquor. Bottle in sterilized bottles. Serve. Drink.
All photos styled and photographed by Denise Woodward.
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