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Preview for Slow Cooker Apple Pear Butter. Small glass jar of the fruit spread next to a slice of bread with the spread on it.
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Apple Pear Butter (Slow Cooker Recipe)

Begin this recipe early in the day. Alternate cooking method instructions are located in the notes section.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Miscellany
Cuisine North American
Keyword apple, pear, slow cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 32 1-ounce servings (4 pints or 1 3/4 kilograms)
Calories 48kcal

Equipment

  • blender
  • 8-quart slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (6 or 1 1/2 kilograms) apples (Gala and Honeycrisp), roughly chopped
  • 1 pound (3 or 660 grams) pears (Bartlett, Comice, or Anjou), stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters apple cider
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup, packed (120 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (1 gram) ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Blend the Fruits

  • Add the pear and apple chunks to a blender, along with the apple cider and the apple cider vinegar.
  • Blend the fruits with the liquids until smooth and no chunks remain, about 1 minute.

Slowly Cook the Apple Pear Butter

  • Pour the contents of the blender into a slow cooker. 
    Add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, kosher salt, and vanilla extract to the puree. Stir the spices and sugar, and vanilla into the apple pear mixture to combine. 
  • Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature to high. 
    Leave the cover of the slow cooker askew to allow steam to escape from the apple pear butter as it cooks.
  • Cook the apple pear butter for 8-12 hours, stirring the apple pear butter once every hour.  
  • Once the apple pear butter is done, transfer it into clean mason jars or storage containers.
    If you do this while the apple pear butter is piping hot, the heat from it will help vacuum seal the lids on the jars.
  • Store in the fridge for up to one month.
    Use it as a spread, topping, or mixed into your favorite recipes.

Notes

Swaps and Substitutions

  • You can replace the pears with more apples and make pure apple butter.
  • Suitable apple alternatives: Pink Lady®, Kanzi, Braeburn, or Jazz® apples.
  • Alternative pear varieties to use: red or green Anjou (D'Anjou), Comice or Bosc. Avoid Asian pears, which have a higher water content and a too grainy of a texture.
  • Replace the apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of lemon juice. 
  • Double the amount of ground cinnamon for more cinnamon flavor and a darker apple pear butter.
  • You can replace the ground cinnamon and ground ginger in this recipe with the same amount of Pumpkin Spice Blend.

Tips and Tricks

  • Leave the peels on and the seeds in tact. The pectin they contain will help thicken the apple pear butter. You can remove the stems.  
  • The longer you cook this apple pear butter, the thicker it will be once it's cooled. Cook this mixture for up to 12 hours to use it in recipes like cheesecake. Cook for only 8 hours for a more spreadable consistency.  
  • Uncover the slow cooker after 8 hours if you want super-thick butter and continue cooking it for 4 more hours. Stir it every half-hour.
  • You can jar the apple pear butter even when it's slightly thinner than what you want. The pectin will further thicken the apple pear butter as it cools

Stovetop Apple Pear Butter

  1. Prep and blend the apples and pears as instructed above and pour the puree into a 6-quart Dutch oven along with the brown sugar, spices, then stir to combine.
  2. Bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Once the mixture begins to bubble like lava, reduce the stove temp to medium-low.
  3. Simmer the apple pear butter over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour 15 minutes-1 1/2 hours, stirring every 10 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by more than half. 
  4. After the apple pear butter is thickened, proceed with jarring and cooling it. 

Oven Apple Pear Butter

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Prep and blend the apples and pears as instructed above and pour the puree into a 6-quart Dutch oven along with the brown sugar, spices, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring the mixture in the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then transfer the uncovered dutch oven to the hot oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, pull the oven rack out and carefully stir the apple pear butter in the pot. Return the rack to the oven and cook for another 30 minutes, then repeat the stirring process.
  5. Cook the apple pear butter for 2 1/2 hours or until it reaches your desired consistency. Once the butter is thickened, proceed with jarring and cooling it. 

Storage Instructions

  • Transfer the apple pear butter to a food storage container or glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. If you're not sealing it, wait for it to cool before putting a lid on the container to avoid condensation from forming on the lid and dripping back onto the apple pear butter.
  • Store this apple pear butter in the fridge for up to a month. When scooping out the butter, always use a clean spoon or knife to avoid introducing bacteria to the jar.
  • Try to avoid leaving the apple pear butter out at room temperature for more than 15 minutes at a time. This will prolong its storage life. Scoop out what you plan to eat and put the rest of the apple pear butter back in the fridge.

Freezing Instructions

  1. Allow the apple pear butter to cool completely. 
  2. Transfer the butter to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 1 year.
  3. Thaw the apple pear butter in the fridge and stir well before using it. Use any previously frozen apple pear butter within 2 weeks of thawing. 

Nutrition

Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg