This homemade pear butter recipe for canning is very simple for beginners and does not require a pressure cooker to can. A simple pot to create a water bath will do!
Pear butter is a smooth puree of pears that have been simmered with a touch of citrus and nutmeg to bring out the full flavor of the pear. It’s a perfect topping on ice cream, slathered on buttered toast or warm biscuits. It’s an excellent accompaniment to any pork dish, particularly grilled pork chops or roast pork tenderloin.
Pear butter shouldn’t be confused with pear jam, they are not the same. The primary difference between pear butter and pear jam is the consistency of the finished product. Pear butter is thinner and does not contain pieces or chunks of fruit, as it has been pureed. Pear jam is often much thicker due to the addition of pectin, and contains small pieces of pear fruit.
An excellent topping for toast, scones, biscuits, muffins, or spooned over hot cereal such as oatmeal or grits, pear butter is a delicious addition. However, it’s use at the dinner table shouldn’t be overlooked either!
Add some pear butter to your favorite BBQ sauce, use it as a glaze for roasted ham, pork cuts, or chicken. To reduce fat and add moistness to baked goods, replace the oil with equal amounts of pear butter.
How to Make Pear Butter
Homemade pear butter is very easy to make. If you’re lucky, you have access to a fresh pear tree to pick your own. If not, that’s fine too, you can pick them up while they’re on sale at your favorite grocery store.
Peel and core fresh ripe pears, you’ll need about 6 cups for this recipe. Technically you do not have to peel the pears first, most often the skin of the pear is soft enough to cook down with the fruit. However, peeling the pears will produce a smoother fruit spread in your finished product and a slightly higher yield (about 1 extra jar of fruit butter!).
Fill a large stockpot with raw peeled, cored and sliced pears, add the water. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking over medium heat until pears are soft. The pears will cook down to about half the pot.
Transfer the cooked pears into a food processor and puree/pulse until smooth, but do not liquefy. You may notice that home grown pears have a gritty texture, when compared to store-bought pears. This grit is from stone cells that naturally occur in pears as they ripen on the tree.
These stone cells are not harmful, but they can be a bit of nuisance when cooking. If you’re opting to pick pears yourself, pick them as they mature, but are not fully ripened, then allow them to ripen on the counter for a few days before cooking with them.
Puree all the pears and then transfer back to the stockpot over medium heat.
Add sugar, orange juice, orange peel, and nutmeg.
Cook until sugar is fully dissolved and mixture rounds up on spoon easily.
While the sauce is simmering. Place the clean jars on a cooling rack that has been placed on a cookie sheet in a hot oven set to 200°F. This is a simple way to sterilize the jars and keep them hot until they’re needed for canning.
Ladle the hot pear butter into HOT Prepared jars leaving 1/4″ head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust the 2 piece caps, then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
If you’re new to canning, or just want a quick reminder of the steps, here’s a quick rundown on how to can using a water bath canner.
Pear Butter Recipe
6-7 lbs of pears, cored, peeled and sliced
4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c. orange juice
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 c. water
- In a large stockpot combine prepared pears with water. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking over medium heat until pears are soft. The pears should cook down to about half the pot.
- Transfer the cooked pears into a food processor and puree/pulse until smooth, but not liquid. Repeat until all of the pears are pureed smooth, then transfer back to the stockpot over medium heat.
- Add sugar, orange juice, orange peel, and nutmeg. Cook until the sugar is fully dissolved and mixture rounds up on spoon easily.
- Ladle the Hot Pear Butter into HOT Prepared jars leaving 1/4″ head space. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the 2 piece caps, then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
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Check out this helpful thread if you need additional help canning pears.