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Slow-Cooker Pear Butter

This is a tasty spread for toast, muffins, biscuits or any of your favorite breads. It is easy to make and has a rich pear flavor with hints of cinnamon, star anise and lemon. —Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    6 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 4-5 star anise points (about 1/2 whole)
  • 5 pounds pears, peeled and chopped (about 12 cups)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions

  • Place spices on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners of cloth to enclose spices; tie securely with string. In a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker, toss remaining ingredients. Add spice bag, covering with pears.
  • Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours or until pears are tender. Remove spice bag.
  • Puree pear mixture using an immersion blender. Or, cool slightly and puree mixture in a blender in batches; return to slow cooker.
  • Cook, uncovered, on high 1-2 hours or until mixture is thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Store cooled pear butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled pear butter in freezer containers up to 3 months. Liquids expand as they freeze, so leave extra room at the top of the freezer container. To use, thaw in refrigerator.


Test Kitchen Tips
  • For an intense licorice flavor, use whole star anise.
  • Liquids expand as they freeze, so leave extra room at the top of the freezer container.
  • To turn this into a pear sauce, which is thinner than spreadable pear butter, cook for a shorter time after pureeing.
  • Nutrition Facts
    2 tablespoons: 41 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 1g fiber), 0 protein.

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