Salted Caramel Pear Butter

September 17, 2021

Humble pear butter gets a sweet, salty, and habit forming makeover in this recipe for Salted Caramel Pear Butter. Try it on ice cream!

This post is sponsored by the makers of Ball® home canning products.*

Pears are such a great fruit for preserving. They make gorgeous jams, compotes, preserves, syrups, chutneys, and even caramel sauces. They are also perfect for cooking down into fruit butters. I typically make pear butters with lots of lemon juice and limited sweeteners, but when I saw this more indulgent Ball®Salted Caramel Pear Butter, I knew I’d have to make a batch.

You start with four pounds of pears. Peel and slice them, and heap them in a slow cooker. I used a four quart cooker and it was the ideal size. Add 1/3 cup of apple cider (not vinegar!) and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Put a lid on the cooker, set it to high and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the pears are tender enough to puree with an immersion blender or in a blender carafe.

I used my favorite vintage slow cooker so it took closer to an hour for my pears to cook to the point where they were soft enough to easily blend.

Once you’ve blended your pears, stir in 2 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar (this ingredient brings the caramel flavor, so don’t skimp and don’t swap in light brown sugar) and 2 teaspoons of flakey sea or kosher salt.

Cook on high for 3 or 4 hours, giving the butter a stir whenever you walk by (about every half hour is ideal). Make sure to vent the slow cooker by either putting the lid on at an angle, or by placing a chopstick or wooden spoon across one end of the cooker. Rest the lid on the chopstick/wooden spoon so that the steam can escape.

When the pear butter has reduced in volume, has thickened nicely, and sits up tall in the bowl of a spoon, it is done and is ready to can.

Prepare your boiling water bath canner.

Fit your pot with a rack (I like the silicone mat that comes with the Ball® Canning Starter Kit). Place four half pint jars (I used Ball® Smooth Sided half pints here) on top of the mat and fill the jars and pot with tap water. Add a generous splash of white vinegar to prevent mineral deposits on your jars, and place the pot on the stove to heat.

Wash your new lids and rings with warm, soapy water and set them aside so that they’re ready for you when you’re ready for them.

Get a hot jar from your prepared canner. Funnel hot pear butter into the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rim, apply a clean, new lid and a ring and return the jar to the canner. Repeat this process with the remaining jars and butter. Process the sauce for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation.

When the processing time is up, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the pot and let the jars stand in the pot for an additional five minutes (this allows them to cool more gradually, which helps prevent siphoning and should also help develop a more robust seal).

Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel. Let them sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours so they can fully cool and seal. Before storing, make sure to check that the seals are firm and unbending. Sealed jars are shelf stable up 18 months, any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

The finished butter is just so good. I love it on peanut butter toast, but I can also imagine using it to fill a harvest-themed layer cake. It would also be excellent swirled into yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. I can also see it being a really great addition to holiday gift baskets. All I know is that I’m going to need another batch!

Click here for the Salted Caramel Pear Butter recipe!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.

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34 thoughts on "Salted Caramel Pear Butter"

  • This looks yummy! I don’t have apple cider on hand, so you think it would work ok to use water and an apple or two? Also, I’m using Bosc pears and was thinking I might not peel them – hopefully if I purée it well that would be ok?

    1. You could just use water instead of the apple cider. And I rarely peel pears when making butter with them, so that should be fine.

  • This recipe is delicious! Definitely adding this to my recipes to make for holiday gifts. I was able to can 5 1/2 pint jars from 1 batch with a little left over. It did take almost 5 hours in the slow cooker. Thanks for the recipe!

  • If I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to peel and core, can I just run it through a food mill once softened? Or will that be to grainy?

    1. That would not work with this recipe. The sugar makes it really sticky and so you’d lose a lot of the finished caramel to the food mill.

  • Hi! Would love to make this but have an instanpot (slow cooker setting but not the lid) – and a stovetop – any recommendations or instructions for instant pot version?

  • This recipe is sooo delicious. We ate it over vanilla ice cream tonight. So so good. My son worked last year in a French Bistro while in college and could not get enough of this topping. Thanks!

  • I’m new to your blog, but can’t wait to try this recipe. I have a feeling Salted Caramel Pear Butter will become a family favorite!!!

    1. Perhaps you reached a higher temperature than I did? Or the pears oxidized? The real question is how does it taste?

    1. I’m guessing from your comment that your pear butter never thickened as much as you would have wished. Like I said in the post, you want the pear butter to not look at all watery. It should sit tall in the bowl of a spoon. Hopefully your batch thickened some while it cooled as well.

  • I’m wondering if this could be done with either maple syrup or coconut sugar? Or even date sugar? I don’t mind if the taste is altered, I just want to be safe. Thank you!

    1. I feel like coconut sugar would be the best swap here. Given the amount of added acid, there’s no safety risk involved in making the swap.

  • I am wondering what the apple cider vinegar does for the end product. I have a daughter who cannot eat apples in any form, and I see you have told someone that water is an ok substitute. So I was just wondering if it imparts a certain taste, has anything to do with breaking down the pears for a smoother end product, or if it is needed for the acid? Could another type of vinegar be substituted?

    1. This recipe doesn’t call for vinegar. It calls for apple cider. The cider is there to add liquid and depth of flavor.

  • I’ll be making this for the first time this weekend because I was given some pears. I make jams & jellies often & I know it’s a no-no to double recipes with them. But I’m thinking I’d be OK to double this. Please let me know if anyone has doubled it with success

  • Hi, on June 28 you replied to Rita that she could use any vinegar besides apple cider vinegar….but the recipe doesn’t call for vinegar. In fact, in the discussion of the recipe you made it clear that you meant apple cider(NOT ACV). So now I’m confused. Doesn’t the lemon juice assure the necessary acidity of this fruit for canning?

    1. Oops, I must have been confused about which recipe I was commenting on. You’re right. I will fix that exchange so that it isn’t confusing.

  • At the farm I work with, we grow Red Clapp pears. They are a safe substitute for a Bosc or Bartlett, right? All pears except Asian pears are properly acidic, yes? Plus this recipes lemon juice likely renders any pear safe? Just teaching myself to can, and appreciate your plain and direct explanations for what does and what does not work in safe home canning. With bottled lemon juice, is acidity consistent across brands? I don’t see a marking on the bottle as we do for vinegars 5% acidity. One bottled lemon juice said natural strength on it. Does that meet the needs of canning? Thank you.

    1. I believe those pears are fine for interchanging with Bartlett/Bosc etc. As far as the lemon juice goes, there are federal requirements in place that mandate the minimum level of acid in the lemon juice. It’s not measured the same as with vinegar, but there are still helpful standards at play.

  • My sister made this, and sent a jar to me. OMG. This is excellent. I like it over vanilla yogurt, but will try it with peanut butter toast.