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Pear Butter in the Crock Pot

Pear butter isn’t “butter” in the true sense of the word. Dairy free, this fruit butter is apple butter’s cousin– a deeply spiced puree of fruit easily made in the Slow cooker, Instapot or Crock Pot.
Pear butter in small mason jar on cutting board with pears

What is pear butter?

Pear butter, or any fruit butter, is a smooth puree of fruit that has been cooked down slowly with sugar and spices. The texture is thicker than an apple sauce because you simply cook the fruit mixture longer and you concentrate the flavor. 

Fruit butters generally are less sweet than jams and there is no pectin added. I love making homemade preserves of any kind. If you do as well, try any of these canning recipes on my site.

How do you make this recipe?

  1. Prepare the fruit
  2. Add all the ingredients
  3. Cook slowly until the fruit is soft and the mixture is concentrated then puree.

The slow cooker is used as my preferred method because it is an absolute STAR at cooking low and slow. 

And by the way, you could make this recipe on the stove top instead. You’ll just need to be patient and plan ahead because it will take a lot of tie to let the fruit and sugar simmer in a sauce pan. Stir ever so often and do not leave the mixture unattended.

Three photos of the steps of making pear butter in the crock pot

What ingredients are needed?

  • fruit
  • sugar
  • spices 
  • a touch of salt
Ingredients of pear butter of pears, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt on marble board

All that is required is good-quality fruit, a small bit of sugar, and spices of your choice. I’ve made apple butter and pumpkin butter in recent weeks. Today I’d like to share this pear butter. Spread it on top of toast or along side a pork tenderloin. This pear butter complements a variety of foods.

Alternative sweeteners for pear butter or any fruit butter include honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. If you try any of those options, please do leave a comment and let me know how it turned out.

Bowl and spoon of pear butter

How to peel pears

Ok, here’s the deal. You DO NOT have to peel pears before making pear butter. The skin is thin and it cooks right down with the fruit.

I am in the habit of peeling my pears first and think that it yields a smoother fruit spread in the end so I do peel the pears first. Use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife to remove the skin of the pears.

How do you thicken fruit butter?

Thickening fruit butter will depend on your method of making the recipe but TIME is the key. Any of the methods– slow cooker, Instant Pot, or stove top– may need additional time to let the fruit spread thicken. This is best done by leaving the lid off or cracking the lid open so that more liquid can escape and evaporate.

In a pinch I’ll use a wooden spoon to prop open a lid but the kitchen gadget that works best are these silicone lid lifters that you’ll find on Amazon. I received mine as a gift in this adorable dog shape shown in the photo. They not only serve a purpose but the lifters are so cute I can’t help but smile at them each time I need to prop a lid open!

Silicone lid lifter in dog shape on edge of crock pot lid

My pear butter is grainy, what should I do?

If you are used to traditional apple butter, you may find pear butter a bit grainy. Even when eating pears compared to apples, the texture is different. 

One way to fix that texture issue in this recipe is to use a high speed blender instead of an immersion blender when you puree your fruit mixture. 

How to use pear butter?

This traditional pear butter will find its way into your meals in unexpected ways. Yes, this fruit spread is perfect for toast but it also it an excellent replacement for mayo, a topping for pancakes or waffles, or a filling for a trifle.  Turning fruits into a smooth, concentrated sauce or condiment of sorts is SO easy with the help of the slow cooker, crock pot or Instapot.
 
Anywhere you might use apple sauce in a recipe to lighten a baked good, you can use pear butter. Or try swapping cranberry sauce for pear butter and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well it pairs with many meals.

Variations on pear butter

Here are some suggestions for changing up this old fashioned pear butter recipe and making it your own creation:

  • add more spices like ginger or cloves to make a spiced fruit butter
  • include a touch of brandy or rum
  • brighten the flavor with citrus by adding orange zest
  • you can never go wrong by adding pure vanilla extract

What to do with lots of pears?

Of course this recipe is ideal for using up a lot of pears. If you are looking for more pear recipes, try this spiced pear-apple butter, ginger pear bundt cake,  or these elegant poached pears

Pears in a wooden bowl on marble countertop
Yield: 4 cups

Pear Butter in the Crock Pot

Bowl and spoon of pear butter

Fragrant pear butter is easy to make using a slow cooker, Crock Pot, or Instant Pot.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8-10 pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients into a crock pot (slow cooker).
  2. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick, let cool slightly then use a hand-held immersion blender puree to desired consistency.
  4. If your pear butter isn't thick enough after the cooking time, prop the lid open and cook for an additional hour or until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Ladle in to mason jars. Keep refrigerated for up to a month.

Notes

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

If you are using the Instant Pot, cook on high for 8 minutes, let cool and release the pressure. Puree. If needed saute on low until mixture reduces to desired consistency.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

48

Serving Size:

1 tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

TOOLS YOU WILL USE IN THIS RECIPE:

Pinterest image for pear butter in mason jar on green napkin

Instapot (I use my Instapot in the Slow Cook mode)

or a Traditional Crock Pot

Hand-held Immersion Blender

Ball Mason Jars, half pints

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This post was originally published in December 2012 and was updated in November 2019.

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Melanie

Sunday 27th of September 2020

First time fruit butter maker here... will this thicken as it cools in the jars?

Kristal

Wednesday 9th of September 2020

Hi! Love the recipe! Can you freeze this pear butter?

Holly Baker

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Hi, thanks for your comment. Yes, pear butter freezes well. Make sure to leave a little headspace (don't fill your container to the very top) so that the pear butter has room to expand when it freezes.

Frieda

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

Can I water bath the pear butter so preserve longer? I’m somewhat new to canning.

Holly Baker

Thursday 13th of August 2020

I don't know the specific acidity levels of this pear butter so I can't guarantee that a water bath canner will be effective. This does keep in the refrigerator for quite a while and even longer in the freezer.

Jean M. Cowley

Wednesday 24th of July 2019

I was just gifted two 5 gal. buckets of little pears. Any idea how to gauge your recipe using little ones? How full is your crockpot when you do 8-10 regular pears?

Texas gal

Sunday 3rd of November 2013

I have a crockpot of pears simmering. I did not peel them. I cleaned and quartered them instead and removed the stems. Then I put the sections and a bit of pineapple juice in a nutri-blend juice machine. I did small batches until the pot was full. I will be adding lemon juice for the acid necessary for safe canning in a water bath.

Holly @ abakershouse.com

Sunday 3rd of November 2013

Oh I bet your home smells wonderful right now! Pears in the crock pot sound perfect today!