Pear Butter

What You'll Need

measuring cups and spoons
water bath canner with canning rack
canning tools
tea towels
mixing bowl
6-7 half pint canning jars and lids
heavy bottomed pan
food mill
6 cored and quartered pears (unpeeled)
about 4 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
pear butter ingredientsIf you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything. Keeping a great journal leads to delicious results! Get inspired by new recipes, expert articles and homemade food adventures in our Monthly Journal.


Golden, the pears gleam in October sunlight. Fat-bottomed fruits, shapely, uneven, and perfectly tender. Too many to eat fresh, so we dry some and bake with some and make the rest into this spiced pear butter, concentrating their flavors into a rich, spreadable topping. In the cooking process, their golden color is deepened, browned into a toasty amber color. The pears become something deeper, darker, more complex as we stir and simmer. The house fills with the smell of them, the smell of summer browning into autumn, the smell of fleeting sweetness transformed into something that will last throughout the winter ahead. 

This recipe, from Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves, is what to do with an abundance of pears.


Prepare a water-bath canner, and 7-8 half-pint jars.
cooking pearsIn a jam pan or other bottomed pan, cook the pears over low heat until they are soft, about 20 minutes. If they are dense or dry, you may need to add a bit of water at the beginning, to prevent them from burning. 
food millRun the pears through the coarse screen of a food mill, and measure the volume. You will want to use half as much brown sugar as there is pear puree.
add spicesReturn the mixture to the jam pan, and add the brown sugar.
Add the spices; cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice. 
Cook the mixture over low heat, uncovered, until it is thick. This will take at least an hour, and maybe two. Stir occasionally at first, and more frequently as the pear butter thickens.
Ladle the pear butter into pint or half-pint jars, and add lids and rings. Process the jars in a boiling-water bath canner for 10 minutes.

 process in canner

Over to You..

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