A bit of orange and nutmeg in this pear butter recipe makes it delicious.
I love making fruit butter in my crockpot. I cook it overnight and wake up to a sweet-smelling kitchen in the morning. One warning if you use a crockpot overnight. Be sure your crock doesn’t cook high enough to scorch the butter. My crock just doesn’t seem to cook low enough. What I do is give my butter a good stir before going to bed and then get up twice during the night just to check and stir again. It is a bummer to have to get up in the night…. but honestly, it is worth it. Just stumble out to the kitchen stir and go back to bed. It is not a big deal and much better than burnt pear butter.
When canning pear butter you can safely process in a Water Bath Canner.
Gather your canning supplies
- water bath canner
- canning jars
- canning seals and rings
- jar lifter
- canning funnel
- large pot
- large spoons
- sharp knife
- towels and dish cloths
- Pears – 7 pounds, enough to make 2 quarts pulp
- Sugar – 4 cups
- 1 tsp grated orange peel
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3 cup orange juice
First you will need to make a pear sauce. Then you’ll cook it down into butter and process it in a water bath.
Step one is wash peel and core your pears. Slice them into a pot of lemon water to prevent browning. Once all pears are ready, drain and continue with the recipe
Combine with 1/2 cup water in a slow cooker. Cook until pears are soft. Puree in a food mill or food processor or just mash them with a potato masher and whisk. Honestly, pears get pretty soft and a simple whisk does a great job.
Don’t overdo it if you use a food processor. You just want to puree them, not make pear juice! Add sugar, orange juice, orange peel, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Stir and set on low. At this point I leave the lid ajar to allow moisture to escape. The butter thickens sooner this way. Allow this to cook, stirring occasionally, as the fruit gets softer. Finish off with a whisk for a smooth product. This can cook overnight if you have a cooker that will not heat up too much. In my experience new slow cookers cook too high to be left that long and will end up scorching.
Canning your pear butter recipe.
When the pear butter is the consistency you like, pack in jars and process.
Spoon hot pear butter into hot jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean. Any stickiness may interfere with the jar sealing properly. Then lace your lids and rings on the jars and put in the canner.
Process for the time listed below. Be sure to adjust for your altitude.
Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
Altitude in Feet – Processing Time
- 0-1,000 – 10 minutes
- 1,001-3,000 – 15 minutes
- 3,001-6,000 – 20 minutes
- 6,001-8,000 – 25 minutes
- 8,001-10,000 – 30 minutes
For more information on why this is important, see this altitude adjustments page.
Peach Butter recipe: easy pinnable recipe card.
Making this pear butter recipe without the slow cooker.
Combine prepared pears with 1/2 cup water in a pan. Simmer until pears are soft. Puree in a food mill or food processor or just mash them with a potato masher and whisk. Don’t overdo it if you use a food processor! You just want to puree them, not make pear juice! Measure out 2 quarts of pulp. Place pear sauce back into your pan. Add sugar, orange juice, orange peel, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Heat to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to very low, stirring often, and cook until the desired consistency. You’ll need to stir often so stick around and don’t leave it for very long. As the pears break down I like to use the whisk to stir them. It makes the pear butter a smoother consistency.
How to thicken pear butter.
If you want your pear butter thicker simply cook it on low longer. Leave the lid off the slow cooker if you are using one. This allows moisture to escape and the butter will get thicker. The pear butter should be a consistency that will round up on a spoon. If you put some on a plate and liquid seems to seep out and gather at the edges of your puddle of butter… cook it a little longer.
If you need it even thicker for a recipe you will be using it in. Try jarring it up as is is then when you open the jar you can add a little cornstarch. Do NOT put cornstarch in the jars. This is only for when you open the jar to use it.
My pear butter is gritty? Is this normal?
Some pears do have a gritty texture to them so I’d assume that might have transfered to your pear butter. If you’ve got a smoother pear variety it should smooth out better. The taste should be good either way!
Can I make pear butter out of Asian Pears?
Asian pears is a fruit that needs to be acidified before canning. See how to can asian pears here… I haven’t read any research on this, but since they are lower acid I would not recommend making butter out of them. That does change things up for safety. I’ll see if I can find out more on this and post back here if I do. :).