Low fat Pear Butter is a tasty alternative to real butter, with the same spreadable consistency and with less sugar than jams and jellies. Smear on homemade rolls and toast, use in baked goods and spread as glaze on chicken or pork roast for a delicious taste.
The first time I made pear butter I had just bought a large 32 pound box of Bartlett pears at a great price. My family loves eating pears that are soft (but not squishy) and ripe. However, pears don’t have a very long period of time when they are ripe and perfect for eating. Therefore, I was on the lookout for ways to preserve the pears so we could keep the yummy taste and nutritious benefits for longer than just a three day period.
Luckily I have a little canning experience so I did three things with the pears:
- Canned pear slices.
- Made pear sauce – similar to my homemade applesauce recipe, but with pears.
- Made pear butter.
This pear butter recipe starts with pearsauce. However, as an alternative, you can begin with pear slices cooked and pureed and go straight to pear butter. I recommend pressure cooking the pears. Pressure cooking pears is easy both in an Instant Pot or other stove top pressure cooker.
Wash, peel and slice pears. Add pears to pressure cooker with about ¼ cup of water. Follow the directions for your pressure cooker. Generally, after reaching the correct pressure, the pears only need to cook under pressure for 5 minutes before they are ready. Cool and puree the pears and you are ready to start the pear butter.
Pear Butter Ingredients
The ingredients in pear fruit butter are pearsauce made from unsweetened pears (similar to applesauce, but made with pears) or pre-cooked and pureed pear slices, spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, sugar and orange juice.
Pear Butter: How to Make It
Puree all the ingredients in a Vitamix or other high quality blender and pour into a slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker on low for 6 to 10 hours. The liquid should start to evaporate. Turn the heat to high. Remove lid and place two wooden dowels over the top and replace the lid. This allows the pear mixture to boil and thicken, but the lid keeps the hot mixture from splattering all over the place. Cook on high another 2 to 4 hours.
This is a recipe that does not have a precise cooking time simply because each batch of butter has a different liquid content depending on how juicy the pears are and how much water the pressure cooked pears retained.
As your pear fruit butter is cooking, your house will smell wonderful. The smell reminds me of Christmas.
Troubleshooting: Why is My Pear Butter Gritty?
Pears naturally have a somewhat gritty texture, which does come through a little bit in the butter. It is essential to peel the pears before making the pear butter. In addition, pureeing the pear fruit butter in a Vitamix makes the smoothest butter texture. If the pear butter is not smooth enough, run it through the Vitamix again.
Does Pear Butter Thicken as it Cools?
Fruit butters thicken somewhat as they cool. However, if your pear butter is too thick, it probably isn’t finished yet. Keep cooking on high in the slow cooker until the liquid cooks off and the mixture thickens. You can also strain the butter with a fine sieve if it is too runny after the allotted time has passed.
Pear Butter Uses
Fruit butters can be used in place of regular table butter. Put Pear Butter on rolls and biscuits for a lighter, sweeter taste.
To lower the fat content in a baked goods recipe, substitute up to half of the butter with pear butter. Fruit butters are especially good in muffin and pancake recipes. It can also be used in cookie and cake recipes.
How long does Pear Butter Keep?
Fruit butter shelf life varies based on whether it is canned, frozen or kept in the refrigerator. Properly canned, pear butter will last approximately one year or two years if using the new two year life lids by Ball. Get the pear butter canning recipe to preserve your pair butter the longest.
Use frozen pear butter within about six months. Use either a freezer jar or freezer bags when freezing the butter. Store in smaller quantities and thaw only what you need. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use.
Pear butter stored in the refrigerator will be fresh for at least two weeks. The sugar content helps preserve it. However, the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the less fresh it will taste.
Pear Butter as a Gift
Pear butter makes an excellent gift to say “thank you”, to celebrate the holidays, birthdays or other special occasions. Add a gift tag and ribbon to make it special. Be sure to include instructions for use and maybe even include a batch of homemade rolls.
What I Used to Make Pear Butter
For your convenience, I have listed items that I used when making Pear Butter. These are affiliate links of items that I recommend.