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I get it: preserving may not be your thing. All the various components needed to prepare and cook the recipe may be overwhelming. If that’s the case, or if you just love to preserve, pear butter is the answer. Nothing is easier. Let me convince you further:
- There’s no peeling, only the removal of the core.
- There’s no monitoring and constant stirring over a hot stove.
- A few spices and a slow cooker do all of the work.
Plus, if you want to make this pear butter shelf-stable, simply can it or freeze it for use months later!
What is pear butter?
Fruit butters contain no actual butter, but instead are made up of fruit that has been cooked into a paste. They can be lightly sweetened and usually have added spices. Commonly, we think of the super traditional apple butter, but apricot, grape, peach, plum, and other fruits can be made into butters.
Pears have a lot of natural sugar, so only a few tablespoons of honey are added to enhance the sweetness. To amp up the seasonal notes, warm fall spices are also incorporated.
Do you have to use a slow cooker?
Short answer: no. This recipe can be made in an 8-quart stockpot on the stove. Using this method, the pear butter needs to be stirred occasionally to make sure the liquid has not evaporated entirely and the butter is not overcooking.
The slow cooker allows you to go about your day at home, or go to sleep and wake up to a finished pear butter. Simply put, it takes away any guesswork. In the last four to five hours of cooking, remove the lid of the slow cooker and allow any excess liquid to cook off.
Watch how to make this slow cooker pear butter
Slow Cooker Pear Butter
- 10 lb pears
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- 12 whole cloves crushed
- 6 whole cardamom pods crushed
- 3 vanilla beans (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
- Cut ripe pears into quarters and remove the core. Slice roughly into ½-inch pieces and place in a 7- or 8-quart slow cooker. Add lemon juice, honey, cinnamon sticks, and ground ginger. Place cloves and cardamon pods in a small cheesecloth bag and add to the pears. Slice vanilla beans in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with the back of a knife. Add seeds and pods to the slow cooker. Turn the cooker on high for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, remove the lid and cook an additional 1-4 hours to cook off excess liquid.
- Once most of the liquid has cooked off, turn off the slow cooker and cool for 30 minutes. Blend in a blender in batches until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
- At this point, if freezing the pear butter, pour into airtight freezer containers and freeze. If canning in a water bath, bring the pear butter to a simmer on the stove.
- Remove and pour into sterilized 8-ounce canning jars. Fit with prepared lids and rings. Boil in a water bath for 10 minutes, making sure jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water.
- After 10 minutes, remove from the water bath and allow the jars to cool for 12-24 hours. The lids should seal within 1-2 hours. Any that do not seal can be placed in the refrigerator and used.