Pear Butter


Tell whoever’s lucky enough to be gifted with this deep, dark spread that it’s great on toast or dolloped into plain yogurt. It takes a long time to make because you’re cooking most of the water out of the fruit to make a thick, rich “butter” (there’s no actual butter in it). Depending on the size of the pears, the recipe makes enough to fill five to six 1⁄2-cup jars (you can double the recipe if you like, to make more). Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to give it (it will keep for up to two weeks).

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Measuring cups
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Large pot
  • Stirring spoon 
  • 4-6 (4-ounce) jars with lids 



  • 12 very ripe pears, cored and chopped (you don’t need to peel them)
  • 1 cup water



  • Put a saucepan on the stove. Add the pears and water, turn the heat on the stove to high and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until the pears are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Make sure the mixture is simmering gently, with little bubbles at the surface.
  • Continue cooking, uncovered, until the mixture has reduced by about 3⁄4 (that means you’ve got 1⁄4 of what you started with) and is smooth and brown, with no more liquid pooling at the top of it (about 1 to 2 hours longer). When it starts to get thick, stir frequently so that it doesn’t burn.
  • If you want the butter to be very smooth, put it in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process.
  • Cool, then divide the butter into the jars and refrigerate.


Note: This is a good way to use overripe pears that might look too ugly to eat! 


  • If you like spice, stir in 1⁄2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
  • If you like vanilla, stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

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