Six jars of pear butter on a wooden table with a whole pear and a few cinnamon sticks
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5 from 1 vote

Pear Butter

Sweet pears, warm spices, and a hint of winter citrus make this pear butter recipe a winter canning favorite.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Canning Time, optional15 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Servings: 104 2 Tablespoon servings
Calories: 21kcal



  • 4 lbs pears fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 14 whole cloves or 1 tsp ground
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • If using fresh pears begin my coring, peeling, and dicing your pears. You can also pop them into a blender or food processor and pulse lightly to finely chop (not puree). Or place them in your cooking pot and use an immersion blender.*
  • Juice your lemon and orange, reserving the peel. Cut two 1/2 inch wide strips from each the lemon and the orange peel and using a small sharp knife, scrape off as much of the white pith underneath as possible.
  • Pierce each peel strip with the knife and stick a clove through it (unless using ground then skip this step).
  • Add pears, sugar, citrus juice, spices, and citrus peel to a large pot. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer the pears until they've thickened and reduced, stirring every few minutes. About 1 hour.
  • The pear butter is done when it mounds on the spoon (holds it's shape when scooped up) and slides very slowly off the spoon. It will look deeper in color and thicker.
  • If freezing, ladle into freezer safe containers, leaving 1 inch of space at the top for and allow to cool before sealing and freezing for up to 1 year. For canning, move to next step.

Canning Instructions

  • While pear butter is cooking, bring a large canning pot full of water to a boil. You need a canning rack and enough water to cover the jars you use by 1 inch when submerged.
  • When pear butter is very close to done heat clean jars by submerging in boiling water then removing and turning upside down on a towel to dry a minute or so. Set new seals and clean lids close at hand.
  • When pear butter is done place a funnel in the mouth of warm jars and fill each jar, leaving only 1/4" to 1/2" of space between the butter and the rim of jar.
  • If any butter is on the rims carefully wipe off and place seals and lids on jars. Using hand protection tightly seal the lids as much as you can by hand.
  • Place the jars in the boiling water and let process for 10 minutes. When done, remove to towel and let sit until the lids pop (no longer move or click when pressed on). Store in cupboard for up to 18 months.


*You can use frozen pears, simple thaw and pulse in blender or food processor to break down or cook from frozen and use an immersion blender or a potato masher when thaw and beginning to break down. If using an immersion blender, you'll need to momentarily remove the citrus peel and cinnamon stick. 
*Times may vary depending on the stove you're using and the temperature you're cooking at. To speed up the cooking, keep at a rapid simmer and stir frequently to prevent sticking. 


Serving: 2Tbs | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg