Easy Pear Butter

Another Use for a Bumper Crop of Pears

A friend of mine has a pear tree produces a bumper crop of pears year after year. The problem is she is a school teacher, and the pears ripen during her busiest time of the year making it impossible for her to do anything with them. Last year I asked her, since she wasn’t able to use them, if I could pick them and use them myself. She said I could, so I went to her house and loaded the trunk of my car with pears. I spent about a week canning pears. I also made some of the pears into pear sauce to cook down into pear butter. I like to do this project after the first of the year after the holidays when life is no longer hectic (and the heat from the kitchen is a benefit, not a curse). On the second week of January, I finished putting the last jar on the shelf. Here’s my recipe.

A Low Tech Way to Prepare the Pears for Making Pear Butter

To make pear butter, the first thing I have to do is to cook and sauce the pears. There are any number of ways to make the sauce. I know of several appliances or tools I can have used to help me in the process. The lowest tech way that I know to use to sauce pears is to pare off the skins, and remove the seeds. I then place them in a large saucepan on the stove, and fill the pan about one fourth full of water. I add the pared and cored pears and cooked the flesh in a saucepan over medium heat until the pears can be crushed with a potato masher. Next, I would drain the excess water in much the same way I would drain the water from potatoes if I were getting ready to mash them. I would mash the pears with the potato masher until the sauce is smooth, and all the lumps are removed.

Canned Pears and Pear Butter

Making Pear Butter

I do not use the lowest tech way. Instead, I use a hand-cranked machine that is made for that job. I make the sauce using a strainer I got from Lehman’s. It is a neat tool that I am able to take cooked pears. Put then into a hopper, turn a crank, and the peels and seeds come out one end while the sauce comes out the side. I use this hand-cranked machine for not only the pear butter, but I also use it to make applesauce, tomato sauce, pureed pumpkin, and remove the seeds when making blackberry jelly.

Once I have the pear sauce made, I can either put it into a crockpot or into the oven, but an ideal tool for cooking down pear butter is an electric powered roasting pan. Begin cooking down the sauce on high in the crockpot or electric roasting pan, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit if using the oven. Cook down until pear butter is thick(varies depending on moisture content of pears). Be sure to stir the pear sauce every half hour or so to prevent scouring, because if the pears scorch, the pear butter will not be any good. When the pears are thickened, add ¼ cup of honey or ½ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon ginger for EACH quart of finished butter made.Add these ingredients only after the pears are cooked down to the desired thickness, If you have 1 quart of butter you used the recommended amount above. If you have 2 quarts of the finished product, you double the added ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for another half hour; be sure to stir about every fifteen minutes or even more frequently to prevent scouring.

Strainer Used for Making Pear Butter

This hand-crank strainer is perfect for saucing tomatoes, apples, berries and pears.
This hand-crank strainer is perfect for saucing tomatoes, apples, berries and pears.

Canning Pear Butter

Pour prepared butter into half-pint or pint sized sterile jars, cap (using sterile caps and rings) , and process in water bath canner for 15 minutes. If there isn’t enough to fill another jar, place into bowl and place in the refrigerator to use right away. In my experience, uncapped pear butter will usually keep in the refrigerator about 30 days.

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Comments 17 comments

daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska

Wow, wish I have that opportunity to be gifted with free ready-to-go pears. Sounds delice. Look into candied pears, too. You'll be surprised how yummy and versatile they are.

craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 4 years ago from Southwestern, United States

Very useful hub. Voted up.

Mama Kim 8 profile image

Mama Kim 8 4 years ago

Canning is wonderful! Those pears look so yummy ^_^ you have a nice friend to give you all those pears. voted up

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

I love the fact that at the end of the day, I can see all the work I have done!

2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

When I lived in London I had a very prolific pear tree, and my mother gave me a recipe for pear pickle. It was delicious, but I lost the recipe a long time ago. Also, when I moved I lost the pear tree!

This looks like a good way to keep the pear crop.

I shall add it to my Recipe Index for HubPages.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America

I like to make pear pies, so I am sure that pear butter is a recipe I will try. Thanks!

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

Patty Inglish, MS, pear pies sound good to me too. I'll have to make them the next time I come into a windfall of pears.

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

I love pears! Your hand-cranked machine is amazing that it separates the peels and seeds from the mush...there was a log of ingenuity and inventiveness in 'those olden days' of farming/ survival.

If I had a few of those free pears I would dehydrate a bunch of them too...yummy! Thank you for sharing.

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

I agree with you frogyfish! Maybe I will get some more of those pears this year as well!

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

Hi cygnetbrown. At the risk of sounding stupid, what do you do with the pear butter? How do you use it?

I planted four pear trees in my orchard a couple of years ago, all different varieties. By next season I hope they'll be fruiting so I'm checking out recipes and getting excited. I've never heard of pear butter. Please tell me more. :)

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

LongTimeMother, I'm glad you asked. Pear butter is similar to apple butter and can be used any way that you might use jams or jellies. I love it on homemade bread or biscuits!

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

ROFL, I've never heard of apple butter either. I must have been living under a rock. I can't believe I've travelled all over the world yet nobody has ever offered me pear butter or apple butter on my toast. Obviously I've been hanging out with the wrong people. :)

I do, however, make lots of homemade bread and the occasional batch of biscuits, so it is time I tried creating both pear butter and apple butter. I'll have to wait until next year for the pears, but I have hundreds of apples on my apple trees right now so that's where I'll begin.

I plan to adapt your pear butter recipe using the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Sounds like a nice combination. I will experiment next weekend. Thanks.

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

LongTimeMother, Well, I'm happy to share this with you, my Aussie friend! I grew up in an area where there were a lot of Amish, Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch (actually should be spelled Deutch because they are German) and fruit butters originated with those cultures. You can also add other fruit to the apple and pear butters--try strawberry or peach--for different flavors. If you did strawberry, you would probably want to change out the spices though.

Rogene Robbins 3 years ago

I made a batch of pear butter a few weeks ago. Wish I had found this hub then. I had to "wing it." Will remember this hub for next time.

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

How did your pear butter turn out, Rogene Robbins?

Rogene Robbins 3 years ago

Not bad after I finally figured out what I was doing. I just made a few jars. Bob's already asking when I'm going to make more.

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

That is great to hear!

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