This slow cooker (or crockpot) recipe for homemade pear butter is made with ripe Bartlett pears with their skin left on, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar! The slow-cooked pear butter is thick, spreadable, and bursting with fruit flavor. Enjoy the condiment as a spread on toast or as a topping for pancakes!
Have you ever made fruit butter before? Honestly, when I think about fruit butter, apple butter, and pumpkin butter come to mind first. But pear butter is absolutely delicious!
Would you believe that my first attempt at fruit butter was when I had a few peaches left over and made my scrumptious peachy amaretto-flavored peach butter with pineapple and amaretto? You’ll love this fruit butter recipe because it is so flavorful and will be a taste of fall on your tongue – no matter the season.
Fruit butter is a spreadable condiment made by cooking down ripe fruits with sugar and spices until thick and smooth. It doesn’t contain butter and is typically made from fruits like apples, pears, peaches, plums, or berries. The fruit is cooked slowly until it caramelizes, resulting in a flavorful spread. Enjoy fruit butter on toast or use it as a filling in pastries and desserts.
I have become a fan of vegan slow cooker recipes! A slow cooker, also known as a crockpot, is a convenient and time-saving kitchen appliance. It enhances flavors in recipes like crockpot baked apples by slow cooking ingredients, allowing them to meld together for delicious results. As an added benefit, using a slow cooker frees up oven and stovetop cooking space so you can be making more delcious food!
You are going to love this easy-to-make highly flavorful homemade pear butter recipe made in the crockpot. You don’t even need to peel the pears! Just clean, slice, add a few ingredients, and before long your house will be filled with the aroma of juicy pear, cinnamon, and nutmeg!
Ingredients needed to make pear butter in the slow cooker
- 5 pounds Bartlett pears – This is equivalent to eight-ten pears.
- brown sugar – The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Depending on how sweet your pears are, you might want to use a little bit more. I always test after blending and before cooking the pear butter for that final hour and add more sugar to taste.
- ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
- 1 large strip of orange peel
- You will also need a Crock Pot or another type of slow cooker. The minimum size I’d recommend is a 3 1/2 quart capacity.
About the Bartlett Pears
I find the flavor and texture of Bartlett pears to be best for making pear butter. Bartlett pears are yellow/green and turn fully yellow when fully ripe. I prefer my pears to be a little on the greenish/yellow side when using them for pear butter. The flavor is better and the texture is a little less grainy than if you use fully ripe super yellow pears.
In fact, this Bartlett pear recipe is a great recipe for leftover pears that are just barely starting to turn a little too ripe. Make sure to cut out any weird brown spots though and depending on how many leftover pears you have, you may need to scale the recipe down some.
How to make pear butter in a crockpot
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
Step one: Prepare the pears and orange peel
Wash and pat dry the pears you are going to use. Slice into equal pieces and make sure you have removed the stem, core, and seeds.
I like to use a handy apple corer to slice my pears, but it is not necessary. You can also just use a knife. The pear shape can be a little curvy and may not slice as straight and evenly as an apple would so inspect each slice and make sure that you remove all of the core and seeds if you use an apple corer.
Do I need to peel the pears before making pear butter?
There is no need to peel the pears before cooking the pear butter. But do remove any weird brown blemishes. If you don’t want to eat the blemish before it is cooked, you won’t want to think about it while the pear butter is on your English muffin!
Wash the orange before peeling it and adding it to the slow cooker. I take a paring knife, start at one end, and cut around. My personal goal is to do it in one piece! (It’s okay if it doesn’t happen.) You just need a nice big hunk of orange peel!
Step two: Adding the ingredients to the crock Pot
You can use a Crock Pot brand or any other slow cooker that you have as long as the capacity is enough to hold five pounds of sliced pears and it has a high setting.
Place the prepared pears into the slow cooker. Add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss everything together to coat the pear slices. Add the orange peel onto the top of the pears.
Step three: Cooking the Slow Cooker pear butter
Cover the slow cooker and cook the pear butter on high for 5-6 hours. You’ll know it is done when everything mashes up well when you test it with a fork or masher.
If the pears are nice and soft, then remove the orange peel and puree the pears with an immersion blender or transfer the pears to a blender and puree well.
If you don’t have an immersion blender then you can remove the cooked pears with a ladle to a high-speed blender and blend on high for a few minutes until the pear butter is nice and smooth.
The immersion blender will make it more chunky. While you are working on blending the pear butter, make sure the slow cooker remains on at high temperature and keep the lid on it to maintain the heat.
Step Four: Finish cooking
We are going to finish cooking the pear butter during the last hour with the lid removed so that any excess moisture will evaporate. Keep in mind that the pear butter will firm up and become less runny when it has fully cooled, but cooking the last hour after it has been blended helps with the excess liquid.
Before continuing to cook the blended pear butter for the last hour, give it a little taste and add more sugar if you’d like the pear butter to be more sweet. Return the pureed pear butter to the slow cooker and continue to cook for one hour on high with the lid off.
Place the cooked pear butter into small jars with lids and cool in the refrigerator.
Serving and storing
Homemade pear butter will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. It also freezes well! Just leave a little “head space” for expanding when it freezes. When you are ready to eat your pear butter, place the frozen containers in the fridge to thaw overnight.
What might go wrong with your pear butter?
Pears are just a little bit gritty. This is caused by stone cells found in the flesh of pears. Stone cells are perfectly safe to eat and strangely, are the same type of material as the stones in the middle of stone fruits like cherries. The riper the pear, the stonier it will be. This is why I don’t use super yellow ripe pears when making this recipe.
Some pears are just juicier than others. The pear butter should firm up after it has chilled. If it is still too funny for your liking then cook on low without a lid for a couple of hours to allow the extra moisture to evaporate.
Honestly, it’s going to depend on the pears you use. Mother Nature is not always consistent. This is why I test and add more sugar before cooking for the final hour. If your pear butter is too sweet then add a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon.
For some other tasty vegan recipes made in the slow cooker try:
The Printable Recipe for pear butter in a slow cooker
Did you love this recipe?
Want to share the love? It would be great if you could leave five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help Google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy
Pear Butter Crock Pot Recipe
- 1 slow cooker 3½ quart is the bare minimum capacity.
- 5 pounds bartlett pears see notes
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large strip of orange peel
- Wash, core, and slice the pears. Do not peel the pears but do remove any weird brown spots or blemishes.
- Place the prepared pears into the slow cooker. Add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to coat. Add the orange peel onto the top of the pears.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours. You'll know it is done when everything mushes up well when you test it with a fork or masher.
- Remove the orange peel and puree the pears with an immersion blender or transfer the pears to a blender and puree well. The immersion blender will make it more chunky. While you are working on blending the pear butter, make sure the slow cooker remains on high temperature and keep the lid on it to maintain the heat.
- Give your blended pear butter a little taste and add more sugar if you'd like it to be more sweet. Return the pureed pear butter to the slow cooker and continue to cook for one hour on high with the lid off.
- Place the pear butter into clean jars and seal with lids. Refrigerate till cooled.
- Serve on bread, toast, crackers, muffins, pancakes, or as a fruit dip. This will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. It freezes well. Just leave a little "head space" for expanding when it freezes.