Fruit butters have become my latest food obsession. Once you taste this Crock pot Vanilla Pear Butter Recipe, you will understand why. You won’t believe how easy this is!
For most of my adult life, I never gave fruit butters any consideration. To be totally honest, I had a preconceived idea that fruit butters actually had butter in them (if you could see me now, I am blushing …)
A few years ago, I had a conversation with a colleague of mine who enlightened me on the subject of fruit butters. Essentially, a fruit butter is a highly concentrated form of fruit (like apple, pear, or pumpkin), which can be easily spread, like butter. And so my obsession with fruit butters began… I started with this Easy Homemade Spiced Apple Butter, and this Crock pot Vanilla Pear Butter Recipe was the natural next step!
I have previously mentioned that I have a wonderful pear tree growing in my backyard (15 years and counting…) It truly is a privilege to watch the May blossoms slowly develop into an actual pear. A recent weather warning of thunderstorms and risk of high winds left us no choice but to go pear picking in our own backyard – we didn’t want to end up with pears splattered everywhere, blown around by the wind! So we picked the pears… all of them.
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, what to do? At this point, I remembered my colleague’s sage advice, and turned to the wonderful world of fruit butters.
Origins of the recipe for Crock pot Vanilla Pear Butter Recipe:
My daughter-in-law and daughter are just as obsessed as I am when it comes to fruit butters. And so they became my taste testers for this recipe. After some tweaking, we decided to simply enhance the flavor of the pears with some vanilla bean and just a hint of orange.
Just 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. But 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 this Crock pot Vanilla Pear Butter Recipe was best with the hint of orange. The inspiration for this pear butter came from a simple pear butter recipe found on food.com.
Spread this Crock pot Vanilla Pear Butter Recipe on toast, pancakes or waffles; stir it into your breakfast bowl or yogurt; have it straight out of the jar – why not? It’s also great as a spread for your sandwiches.
Nutritionally speaking, 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 recipe 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? That is definitely to 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.
This Crock pot Vanilla Pear Butter Recipe is one of the best ways to preserve an abundance of pears. Not to mention they make the perfect hostess gifts. Enjoy!
- 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 slotted spoon, transfer the cooked pears to the blender without the cooking liquid. If necessary, add small amounts of the cooking liquid until the right consistency is achieved (I will drop a spoonful of the pear butter on a plate, if there is no water which seeps out, it is the right consistency). On the other hand, if there appears to be too much liquid, just transfer the pear butter in a saucepan and continue to cook, uncovered, on the lowest setting. At this stage, make sure you stir every couple of minutes to prevent the pear butter from forming a crust at the bottom of the pot. As the liquid evaporates, the pear butter will get thicker.
- 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.
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 head space) and freeze. They will keep for about 6 months in the freezer. Once thawed and opened, they should be stored in the refrigerator.
The leftover cooking liquid can be refrigerated. It is wonderful with plain yogurt or in your breakfast bowl.
Thanks for dropping by.
Ciao for now!
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