One Thrifty Treat, Take Two

What an amazing place the blogosphere is… Although I often am astounded by the kindness and generosity of my fellow bloggers, I feel that this sentiment isn’t shared nearly enough. Endlessly inspired by colorful prose and pictures in so many posts, there’s never any lack of creativity out there, and the enticing ideas that I’m itching to try myself just pile up as the numbers on my blog reader grow in synchronicity.

This time however, it was a timely comment that got me racing back into the kitchen, providing fuel for a round of recipe writing. Ricki, of Diet, Dogs, and Desserts and the brand new book Sweet Freedom, made the brilliant suggestion to turn some of my excess dried fruit into fruit butter. You could probably have heard me smack my forehead from miles away when I read that! Seemingly so obvious, and yet something that I would have never thought of, it was an absolutely perfect solution for dealing with that bulky bag of shriveled pears. Racing to turn on the stove and get this fruity spread going, the hardest part of the whole process is probably just waiting for the contents of the pot to cook!

Warming spices just didn’t seem appropriate for the season, so I kept the flavors bright and simple with just a touch of lemon juice, plus one dry, wrinkled vanilla bean that was nearing the end of its usefulness as well.  Instead of struggling to scrape out any remaining seeds from this seriously leathery pod, I simply popped the whole thing into the pot, let it rehydrate, and blended it all up thoroughly in the VitaMix.  This recipe would be so easy to dress up with any number of different spices or flavorful juices though, the variations and possibilities are nearly endless.  Have fun, play around with it, make it yours- I can see plenty of gifting opportunities with this sweet spread in the coming months, too!

Yield: Makes About 4 - 5 Cups

Vanilla Pear Butter

Vanilla Pear Butter

A quick, sweet spread with a luscious vanilla bean aroma, this jam comes together in mere minutes and will keep your tastebuds happy for weeks.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 12 Ounces Dried Pear Halves (About 3 Cups)
  • 2 Cups Unsweetened Apple Juice
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup


  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a large pot, and bring it to a simmer. Cook gently for about 15 minutes, until all of the dried pears are soft and re-hydrated, stirring the mixture occasionally.
  2. Let cool for a few minutes, and then transfer everything into your food processor or blender, and thoroughly puree. The mixture will be extremely thick, so make sure that you scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to get things entirely smooth.
  3. Spoon the pear butter into clean jars, and seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, where it will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

44 thoughts on “One Thrifty Treat, Take Two

  1. Huh, that sounds a heck of a lot easier than the pear butter I made from fresh pears (in fairness I used 50 lbs of pears which turned it into a 3 day extravaganza). I wonder if you could safely can this version.

  2. That looks amazing! I’ve been toying with the idea of homemade peach butter for awhile now. Inspiration to finally make it!

  3. It looks fantastic, Hannah! So glad it worked out. And pear butter with a lemon zing sounds much nicer than a heavy spiced version!

  4. I never tried pear butter before, I bet it’s delicious though! Maybe I should try making my own fruit butter since I have such an abundance of dried fruit in my cupboards.

  5. I love how generous all the bloggers out there are! I keep meeting so many amazing people! It makes me feel better about the world (i know cheesy but it’s true!) As for this recipe MAN!! So simple, love the use of maple syrup… This would be a perfect gift for someone!

  6. Lately I’ve been feeling that my blogging friends are even thicker than my real-life friends. Maybe that’s just a product of me living in a foreign country. I don’t know what I would do without my blogging network.

    The pear butter looks amazing. I love condiments for bread.

    I saw your cookbook on Eat, Live, Run the other day. Scroll down this post to see your book prominently featured:

  7. That’s excellent! I would never have thought of that either! Mmm, pear butter sounds enticing, I can only imagine what mango butter would be like…

  8. I made pear butter last fall. It was so delicious. I used fresh fruit, but instead of just throwing away the cores/peels, etc, I simmered these with some water, then strained out the fruit, then added sugar and cooked it until it was thick. Pear honey, it’s called, and it also was super tasty. I ended up giving most of it away for Christmas presents. I found the recipe in a cookbook published by UGA all about canning and making jam that I found at a used book sale. Nutmeg is also a nice addition to pear butter, though it also doesn’t seem exactly appropriate for the season, either. THis makes me want to make some more!

  9. I once made a delicious spread based on one of Ricki’s recipes. It featured dried apricots and it was fantastic.
    I can see so many possibilities for this and it is a great present, too.

  10. Im loving the use of dried pears!!! I made pear butter last fall but ran out. I need to give this a try! thanks :)

  11. This is a timely post for me. I’m a huge fruit lover but I often end up buying too much (and naturally regret the action) and then stop buying completely and feel deprived. I never thought of turning the leftover dried fruit into fruit butter. It’s so obvious but… (banging my head against the wall now). Thanks so much for sharing the info and the recipe!

  12. That sounds utterly delicious. I dont have dried pear halves but I think I will have to get some on the way home! I do love reading all the yummy food creations you come up with!

  13. wow, ricki is a genious. i have a copious amount of dried fruit, i should give this a shot :) love the pears, but my excess is apricots…

  14. Omg, this looks so good! I wonder if this would work using a canning method so that it can have a longer shelf life.

  15. I’ve got a couple of bags of dried apples from last year that nobody except me wants to eat. I wonder if that recipe would work with apples rather than pears.

  16. yum!! I love fruit butters, and I had no idea you could make them with dried fruit. 3 cups isn’t even SO so much that I might have that amount on hand someday. Oh, I bet you could make chutneys with all that fruit, too! (and congrats on the haul!)

  17. yum! what a delicious idea. i love apple butter and peach butter…but i never thought of making it out of dried fruits that i have. awesome.

  18. This looks lovely Hannah! Do you think I could do the same with dried strawberries? I have so many I don’t know what to do with them all, except add them to homemade granola.

  19. That was a great idea and you made the best of it. Sometimes I just can’t bear to cook my fresh fruits – I would rather enjoy them fresh and raw – so using dried fruit make perfect sense!

  20. This really looks and sounds fantastic. Butters are so good. I’ve never tried to make any of this kind of stuff, but I might give this one a try!

  21. Perfect Idea!! Did you still have a dried fruit party with bags of wonderful treats?? Your blog is amazing!!! I flipped through your book and I plan on using the Nibble kitchen for your recipes. I am ridiculously excited! How have you been by the way?

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