This is one of my favorite, really basic recipes for the late autumn and winter season. It's sweet, warm, and filled with aromatic spices that heat the body from the inside out.
8 ripe or very ripe pears, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/4 c. ghee
1 - 3 T. coconut sugar or maple syrup, depending on sweetness desired
1/4 - 1/2 c. water
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh ginger or 1 tsp. dried ginger
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom seed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
large pinch or two of Ceylon cinnamon
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of freshly ground cloves8 whole medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced
Peel pears with knife or vegetable peeler. Cut into small, 1-inch chunks and set aside.
In a medium-large pot* over low heat, combine ghee and coconut sugar or syrup. Once the ghee has melted and sugar has been mixed in, add cubed pears, water, ginger, cardamom, and sea salt. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pears have become very soft but still hold their shape [approximately 30 minutes]. Check for flavor at about the 15 minute mark and adjust as needed [more spices, more water, more sweetener]. Add dates when there is 10 minutes left of cooking time remaining.
Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes or until chutney is warm but not hot. Serve warm. Top with additional dates slices and fresh, minced or very thinly sliced ginger.
*You could also make this in a Crock-pot. Mix together all ingredients in Crock-pot, cover and cook for 2 - 3 hours on high or until pears are very soft but hold their shape.