Here is a simple and delicious pear butter recipe you can make in a crockpot. I enjoy making pear butter this way because you don’t have to worry about watching (or forgetting to watch, and therefore burning) anything on the stove.
This recipe has less sugar than many pear butter recipes- because it’s so concentrated, I really don’t think it needs a lot of extra sweetener. If you find it isn’t sweet enough for you, though, you can always add a bit more brown sugar at the end.
I do not generally add any liquid when using the crockpot; as the pears cook, they will exude their own juices and I find that no additional liquid is necessary. If you don’t have a crockpot and you are making this on the stove though, you should probably add some liquid ( a cup or two) to the pot with the pears- you can use water or try pear juice or cider, if it’s available.
If you prefer more of a pear sauce, just don’t cook it as long; it will thicken and darken, becoming pear butter, the longer it cooks.
Using a food mill to finish up the pear butter means you don’t have to peel the pears before you cook them (you actually don’t have to core them either, but I did). If you don’t have a food mill, you’ll probably want to peel the pears up front, and then pass everything through a mesh strainer at the end.
If you want to put this in the crockpot to cook overnight, I would probably just keep it on the low setting for the duration of the cooking time. If it’s not finished after being on low all night, you can turn it up to high for an hour or so in the morning.
Recipe for Pear Butter with Ginger
Yield: 1 pint
*4 pounds (about 12) pears, sliced away from the core - I used local bosc pears
*1/2 cup crystallized ginger
*1/2 cup organic brown sugar
*1 pint glass "mason" jar with screw top lid
1. Place pears, crystallized ginger, and brown sugar in your crockpot. Turn heat to high and cook for about 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8-10 more hours, stirring every now and then. The mixture will thicken as it cooks, and it will keep getting darker the longer you cook it.
2. When it has finished cooking, allow to cool completely before passing through a food mill to remove the skins and what remains of the ginger. You can compost these "remains", or they are quite yummy with yogurt. Pour your pear sauce into your glass jar and store in the refrigerator to enjoy over the next few weeks. It's delicious on toast, in yogurt, and anywhere else you'd use a fruit sauce or butter.