Pear Butter

9 red or green Bartlett pears, sliced
1 cup pear cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon mace

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 10-12 hours. Uncover and cook on low for an additional 10-12 hours or until is roughly your desired thickness and most of the liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool completely then pour into the food processor and puree. Pour into clean glass jars. Refrigerate.

Yield: approximately 4 cups pear butter

My thoughts:

Apple butter might be more common but I think this perfectly spiced pear butter is even tastier. It is rich and creamy but dairy free and a great alternative to jam or jelly. I like it on toast, yogurt, English muffins, biscuits, pancakes, oatmeal, rolls, waffles, muffins and I hear it is tasty swirled into cottage cheese. I have some other ideas on how to use it so I should have a new recipe or two that uses pear butter coming soon.

While you can make this on the stove top using using these instructions, the slow cooker is the way to go. No splatter, no stirring, no monitoring, no having to leave the stove on all night. Once made, the pear butter should keep about 2 months in the refrigerator.


  1. This looks fabulous…I love pears. When I make my applesauce, I make it with no added liquid in the crockpot and it results in a very apple-y taste.

    Do you think this pear butter recipe would work to eliminate the cider but to cook it longer (possibly venting the lid if it needs to reduce)?

  2. This sounds delicious! I bet it would great as a layer in an apple tart too.

  3. You could try leaving the pear cider out but it would be a lot more dry. The cider also adds some flavr so I am not sure what the advantage would be to leave it out

  4. I don’t have a slow cooker and am not too big on the idea of leaving a flame on the stove all night. What time/temp would you recommend for oven cooking in enameled cast iron?

  5. I think pear butter just sounds brilliant. Hopefully I can find the time to try this while I can still find so many of them at the greenmarkets.

  6. what’s that cool slicer thing you’re using?

  7. It is a pear slicer. More common is a apple slicer. You could use that too.

  8. Jesse-I haven’t done it before but I’d try at 300, maybe 350 and check on it every 1/2 hr or so because it will cook much more quickly.

  9. What a fabulous idea. I had some pear chocolate last week that was phenomenal. Pear is a great flavor.

  10. Once you’ve pureed the pears, could you put the puree on the stove to bring it up to a safe temp for canning?

  11. Anon-I guess you could but since it doesn’t make a huge amount and it keeps for at least 2 months in fridge, I didn’t see the point of canning it.

  12. Jen {}

    This looks absolutely scrumpcious! I love apple butter but I’m excited to try your pear butter recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  13. I made some pear butter last year and this reminds me that I definitely need to make some more, it’s delicious!

  14. I’ve never heard of/seen pear cider. Is this something carried in grocery stores or in specialty store?

  15. Anon-Pear cider is pretty common at farmers markets, farm stands or orchards.

  16. What would be an acceptable substitute for the pear cider. I have never seen it at the farmers markets in my area. Do you think pear nectar would work as well?

  17. Anon-You are welome to try that. I created the recipe to be made as is and haven’t tried very possible permutation of the recipe so I really can only say with confidence that making the pear butter this way, with this ingredients is a success.

    I haven’t tried it with pear nectar so I don’t know how it would turn out. I do know some apple butter recipes call for water rather than cider so that might be a possiblity also.

  18. I searched for this pear slicer and found it is actually called a “pear planker.” Who knew? I could only find it available at:

  19. Thanks Suze. I had gotten mine from the Pear Board and had never seen one before. I am not suprised to see they sell it on their website!

  20. Ooh…such a creative alternative to jam. Bookmarking this…

  21. I made your recipe and just finished it tonight. It’s absolutely delicious! I couldn’t find pear cider so I used apple cider, and it still has the pear flavour, the apple doesn’t take over and I think it works very well.
    The entire process honestly took about 10 minutes of my time. It’s all just leaving it for hours.
    Great recipe, thanks! Now I just have to remember to make a larger batch so I can share it out.

  22. Had no idea it took this long to make pear butter. thanks for the recipe!

  23. Question on the pears, are they ripe/yielding to pressure or firm/less ripe, or does it matter?

    It Looks wonderful and keeps for 2 months! Wow, huge bonus. I'll have to hunt for the pear cider… not sure I've seen it in stores, although I've gotten it in bars occasionally.

    I think Hansens has pear nectar, if anyone has tried that, did it come out well? It would probably be sweeter than the cider.

  24. Anon-
    Use ripe pears. Pear cider is non alcoholic in the US. I'd look for it at an orchard or farmers market not a bar.
    Pear nectar is much too sweet. I'd rather sub water than use that.

  25. Thanks Rachel! I'll start hunting down nonalcoholic pear cider… I'm in California, so maybe Trader Joe's has it, they have a lot of juices.

  26. Hi Rachel,

    I'm wondering if pear butter would hold up in the freezer, 2 months is a long time… but I'm thinking a double batch and freeze half for later when pears aren't in season. Any thoughts? Does apple butter freeze and would pears be comparable in freezing?

  27. Anon
    I haven't tried freezing it so I am not sure but I think it would be worth a try. I also imagine that you could can it with great success.

  28. I've never canned anything, freezer jam is as preserved as I've gotten, and I'm chicken 😉

    I'll probably give freezing a try… I'm thinking a double batch is as easy as making one… as long as it fits in my crockpot!

    The recipe sounds so good I can hardly wait… I've mentioned it to 2 friends and immediately asked for a pointer.


  29. The pear butter is wonderful! I made a double batch to give some away and also try the roast pork.

    I picked up a shoulder last night, no butchers around to cut or tie it… so it is 7+ lbs. Oh well, all the more leftovers!

    Thanks for the great recipe, I'll be looking for more uses for pear butter and will try freezing some before it is all gobbled up! 😉

    BTW I found some Knudson organic pear juice at the health food store, since apple juice and cider are used interchangeably, I figured that was my best bet.