Say hello to your new favorite toast-topper. Made in the slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stovetop, this cranberry pear butter is tart, naturally sweetened and flavored with rosemary and cinnamon. It is delicious on buttered sourdough bread and makes a lovely gift. It is also a fun twist on cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
My Cranberry Pear Butter is perfect for the fall and winter months and especially perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make a big batch and give it away in pretty little jars tied with ribbon.
This recipe was inspired by my Slow Cooker Apple Butter recipe and by my love of pears. Also, the combination of cranberries and rosemary is one of my favorite flavor combos and you can find it in my Cranberry Tassies and Cranberry Crisps. So this recipe just combines all of my favorite fall flavors!
- Pears: Peeled and diced. I prefer bartlett but you can really use any pears you enjoy.
- Cranberries: Fresh or frozen both work well here.
- Apple Cider (or juice) or Cranberry Juice: A little liquid to cook the fruits. Apple cider or juice provides more sweetness but cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail!) adds more tartness and red color.
- Maple Syrup: For some natural sweetness.
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Vanilla bean (optional and not pictured but really, really good!)
- Pinch of salt
- Lemon juice and zest
See recipe card for quantities.
- I love the pear and cranberry combination and it screams holidays to me, but feel free to use apples or quince instead.
- If you do not love rosemary, simply leave it out.
- Instead of lemon juice and zest, use any variety of orange such as clementine or satsuma for a true taste of Christmas.
- To spice it up even more, add a couple of cloves, a piece of ginger, and a couple of allspice berries to the cheesecloth bundle.
How to serve Cranberry Pear Butter
- On toasted buttered bread - sourdough is my favorite.
- Topping for Overnight Sourdough Pancakes or French Toast.
- On a cheeseboard - it is especially good with brie
- On the Thanksgiving or Christmas table alongside turkey (or any poultry) or ham.
- On top of yogurt or ice cream
- Replace the Apple Butter with Cranberry Pear Butter in my Apple Butter Puff Pastry Braid
You can make this cranberry pear butter in a slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stovetop in a large, heavy bottomed pot such as an enameled cast iron dutch oven. When it is halfway done cooking you will blend it and I like using a blender for this rather than an immersion blender as it makes it very smooth.
- This is a great slow cooker and very similar to one I use.
- I like this Instant Pot.
- And I use my dad's ancient immersion blender, but here is a good one I recommend.
- This is the blender I use.
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This cranberry pear butter can be stored in sealed jars for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Because of the high level of acidity and the sugar in this recipe, you can also preserve it for up to a year if you process it in a water bath canner. See this post for more detailed instructions on how to safely water bath can at home if you are new to water bath canning.
How to water bath can Cranberry Pear Butter
- Ladle the hot cranberry pear butter into hot, sterilized mason jars leaving about ¼ inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Place on new, clean lids and bands and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes depending on your jar size and altitude. I do 15 minutes for ½ pint jars.
- Turn off the heat under the water bath canning pot and allow the jars to rest in the warm water for 5 minutes undisturbed before removing with a jar lifter and placing on a kitchen towel on the counter (do not place directly on the counter as the jars could crack from the temperature difference).
- Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for about 24 hours until all the lids have sealed.
- Store sealed jars in a cool dry place for 12 months.
- If any of the jars do not seal, store in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
Pear butter is made of pears, a sweetener such as maple syrup or sugar, and spices that are all cooked down and blended to a thick, smooth, spreadable butter.
Pear butter will thicken after it simmers. If you want it to thicken faster, remove lid, turn heat up a little, and stir often to prevent sticking and burning.
Looking for more fall recipes?
This cranberry pear butter is a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table.