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How to Make Pear Butter: Spiced Pear Butter Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Oct 15, 2020 • 1 min read

Pear butter is an easy way to preserve pears by turning them into a sweet spread flavored with fall spices.



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What Is Pear Butter?

Pear butter is a fruit butter made by cooking fresh pears until tender, then puréeing them into pear-sauce, and then reducing the pear-sauce into a dark, thick spread. It’s a great way to use up an abundance of pears.

3 Ways to Use Pear Butter

Pear butter is the perfect spread for whole-grain toast or a homemade English muffin. If you’re looking to get creative with pear butter, try it:

  1. In a parfait: Infuse a granola-and-yogurt parfait with fall flavor by layering in pear butter.
  2. On a cheese plate: Pear butter goes especially well with blue cheese.
  3. On a sandwich: Pear butter makes for an unexpected sandwich spread when topped with pulled pork or sliced turkey.

Vanilla-Spiced Pear Butter Recipe

2 cups
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min


  • 5 pounds ripe pears, such as Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup sugar (or substitute brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, orange juice, or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise pod
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or other wide, shallow pan over high heat, combine pears, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla seeds with enough water to just cover.
  2. Wrap the spices (including the empty vanilla seedpod) in a piece of cheesecloth and add to the pear mixture. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a lively simmer. Simmer until the pears are very soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove spice sachet and pass pears through a food mill into a bowl. If you don’t have a food mill, purée with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
  4. Return pear purée to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the mixture has reduced significantly and is very thick and glossy, about 2 hours.
  5. To test doneness, remove a spoonful of pear butter and let rest at room temperature, away from the steam, for 2 minutes. If the butter remains mounded on the spoon, it’s ready. Alternatively, spoon a little pear butter onto a chilled plate. If liquid runs off the pear butter, it needs more time.
  6. When pear butter has reached the desired consistency, season with a pinch of salt. Spoon into jars and let cool to room temperature. Pear butter will keep, refrigerated, about 3 weeks.

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