- 2 1/2 lbs Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- 2 1/2 lbs quinces, peeled, cored and quartered
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- Grate the quartered pears and quinces, either feeding them through a food processor’s shredding blade or using a box grater. Transfer the grated fruit to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add the brown sugar and salt to the slow cooker. Run a knife down the center of the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the bean (or the vanilla extract, if using in place of a vanilla bean) to the slow cooker. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
- Cook, covered, on HIGH setting 4 hours.
- Remove and reserve the vanilla bean. Transfer the mixture, in batches if necessary, to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the slow cooker along with the reserved vanilla bean.
- Cook, uncovered, on HIGH setting at least 4 hours (or up to 8 hours), stirring occasionally.
- Remove the vanilla bean. Cool completely. Transfer to jars, sealed tightly, and refrigerate up to 3 weeks.