This Crock pot Pear Butter Recipe is one of the best ways to preserve an abundance of pears. Not to mention they make the perfect hostess gifts.
For most of my adult life, I never gave fruit butter any consideration. To be honest, I had a preconceived idea that fruit butter actually had butter in it (if you could see me now, I am blushing …)
About a decade ago, I had a conversation with a colleague who enlightened me on the subject of fruit butter.
And that is how my obsession with fruit butter began…
I started with this spiced apple butter recipe, and this pear butter was the natural next step!
But I didn’t stop there. I also published a recipe for plum butter that tastes amazing!
What is a fruit butter?
A fruit butter is a highly concentrated form of pureed fruit (apple, pear, plum, etc…). It has a smooth consistency and silky texture, which can easily be spread, like butter. Spices are often used to highlight the fruity taste, and they are usually made without any pectin.
How is a fruit butter made?
Fruit butter is made by chopping fruit into chunks and cooking it so that it softens. It is then pureed and cooked again until all the moisture evaporates, transforming into a smooth, silky fruit spread. Fruit butter can easily be made in a slow cooker.
I have previously mentioned that I have a wonderful pear tree growing in my backyard that my dad planted. It truly is a privilege to watch the May blossoms slowly develop into actual pears.
A recent weather warning of thunderstorms and risk of high winds left us no choice but to go pear picking in our backyard – we didn’t want to end up with pears splattered everywhere, blown around by the wind!
So we picked the pears… about 40 pounds worth!
Now, my dilemma. What to do with two bushels of freshly picked pears? I considered making this Almond Pear Tart. But there are only so many tarts one can make. I also have a recipe for a wonderful pear cake, but then again, that would only have used up three pears out of the two bushels that we had…
That’s the thing with fruit trees – the fruit ripens all at the same time, and then you are left scrambling, trying to find ways to use or preserve it for the long winter months.
So if you are wondering how to preserve pears, I have the perfect solution… make this perfectly spiced pear butter! It really is so easy to make in a crockpot!
How to make Slow Cooker Pear Butter:
The first thing we are going to do is give the pears a good rinse. Once that is done, we need to peel and core the pears. Feel free to use a variety of pears for this recipe.
Pro Tip: Use a melon baller to remove the core of the pear.
Next, we need to add the peeled and cored pears to the slow cooker along with a scraped vanilla been, some orange peel, a few tablespoons of brown sugar, orange juice and a little bit of water.
Pro Tip: The water is added to prevent the pears from scorching so it is important not to skip this addition.
Set your crockpot on high and cook for 3-4 hours. The total time will depend on the ripeness and the type of pears. As soon as the pears have softened enough to be pureed, remove the vanilla bean and the orange peel.
With a handheld immersion blender, process the pears until smooth. You will notice that this is a very wet mixture. Alternatively, the cooked pears can be transferred to a food processor and pureed.
Next, cook it down until there is no liquid that seeps out when a teaspoon of the fruit puree is placed on a dish.
How to use
- Spread it on toast, muffins, breakfast buns, bagels, french toast, waffles or pancakes;
- Swirl it in yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese or even ricotta;
- Makes a great topping for ice cream and parfaits;
- Makes a great sandwich spread, especially with cheese
Nutrition Note: This pear butter can be a great fat-free alternative for butter. But remember, fat-free does not mean calorie-free. Moderation is key!
As I was looking for some fruit butter inspiration, I was surprised to see that some recipes actually had up to 4 cups of sugar added to 4-5 pounds of pear. I think that would be appropriate for a jam or jelly, but for a fruit butter? I’ll let you decide.
It’s definitely too sweet for me. I opted for just a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, due to the fact that my pears were not yet fully ripened.
My daughter-in-law and daughter are just as obsessed as I am with fruit butter. And so they became my taste testers for this recipe. After some tweaking, we decided to enhance the flavor of the pears with some vanilla beans and just a hint of orange.
In case you are wondering, we tried adding different “warm” spices to the pears (cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice). As you probably know, spices have the wonderful ability to complement and add a little bit of depth to the fruit.
We felt the delicate flavor of the pear was overpowered by the spices, despite the fact that we used very little amounts.
We then attempted a lemon and vanilla bean pear butter, followed by an orange and vanilla bean pear butter. Ultimately, we decided that it was best with a hint of orange. The inspiration for this pear butter came from a recipe found on this site.
It really is one of the best ways to preserve an abundance of pears. Not to mention, they make the perfect hostess gifts.
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Pear Butter recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Crock pot Pear Butter Recipe
- 2 ½ pounds ripe pears peeled, cored and cut into pieces
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ vanilla bean split lengthwise and scraped to release seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1-2 strips of orange peel
- pinch of salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on the high setting for about 3 -4 hours (Total time will vary based on ripeness of pear).
- Stir occasionally.
- When the pears have softened, remove the vanilla bean and the orange zest.
- With a handheld immersion blender, process the pears until smooth. Alternatively, the cooked pears can be transferred to a food processor, pureed and transferred back to the slow cooker.
- Set the slow cooker on low and cook for an additional 6-8 hours. The total time will depend on the total moisture of the fruit. The pear butter is done when there is no liquid that seeps out when a teaspoon of the butter is placed on a dish.
- Ladle the pear butter into sterile canning jars. Always leave about ¼ inch of head space. Try to remove as many air bubbles as possible.
- Seal with sterile lids and rings.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
- Remove jars from the pot.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Check the lids by pressing on the center of each seal. If it springs back, the jars need to be refrigerated. Otherwise, they can be stored in a cool dark place for about 1 year.
- Once the jar is opened, it can be stored for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
- I used Madagascar Natural Bourbon Vanilla Beans;
- This recipe works well with any variety and/or combination of pears;
- To freeze the pear butter: Allow the pear butter to cool to room temperature; place in containers which are freezer safe (always leave about 1-inch headspace) and freeze. They will keep for about 6 months in the freezer. Once thawed and opened, they should be stored in the refrigerator.
This recipe was originally published on September 18, 2016 and republished on September 26, 2018 with improvements to the recipe, updated content and a video.