Lindsay Landis' Pear Cardamom Butter

Jan 22, 2024 at 11:17 am by RMGadmin

Sweeten Up Winter with Pear Cardamom Butter

With Lindsay Landis  |  Love & Olive Oil 

Here’s a unique condiment you never knew you needed until now: cardamom pear butter.


A fruit butter is a naturally-set jam made from pureed fruit that has been cooked down and sweetened. It has a smooth consistency somewhat like applesauce. This sweet pear version is lightly spiced with fragrant cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, but feel free to mix up the spices to your liking. I suggest a vanilla bean or some orange zest perhaps, or even a glug of pear brandy or rum. You can also increase or decrease the sugar to your personal tastes.
As for how to enjoy pear butter, treat it almost like applesauce. Obviously, it’s lovely on morning toast or smeared on a warm buttered English muffin, but it’ll also go great on your holiday charcuterie board as an accompaniment for aged cheeses and cured meats. You can also use it as a glaze on grilled or roasted meats like chicken or pork, as an applesauce alternative generously spooned over potato latkes or baked into sweet and salty oatmeal cookie crumb bars. Oh, and do me a favor and please spread it inside your next grilled cheese sandwich—the sweetness of the pear beautifully contrasts the rich, melty cheese and buttery toasted bread. You may never eat another plain grilled cheese again!


Not sure what kind of pears to buy? Sweet, fruity varieties like Bartlett or Anjou make the most flavorful preserves. Find the ripest, juiciest fruit you can, as that flavor will pass on to your fruit butter. You can also use apples or a mix of apples and pears in this recipe!


This recipe is one of many winter canning recipes featured in my new cookbook, That’s My Jam: 52 seasonal recipes for jams, jellies, marmalade and more. I believe that every season is canning season, and I’ve got plenty of recipes for winter jams and jellies to prove it: From cranberry sauce to apple jelly to any citrus marmalade, and even some non-fruit recipes like ginger marmalade and balsamic jelly that sound unusual but, I promise you, are incredibly delicious. Even if you’re not into canning, all the recipes can be made and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. That’s My Jam is available now in digital and hardcover formats exclusively at and would make a great gift!

Pear Cardamom Butter

Makes 3 cups


2 pounds or about 6 to 7 medium pears

1 cup filtered or spring water

2 cups granulated sugar (more or less to taste)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of ground cloves


1. Core and quarter pears, removing any obvious bruises or blemishes. Place pears in a large, heavy saucepan with water. Cover and simmer over medium-high heat until softened, about 15 minutes.
2. Run cooked pears through a food mill, discarding skins and seeds. You should have 2 1/2 cups of prepared fruit. (If you don’t have a food mill, peel, core, and chop pears before cooking, then mash using a potato masher as they soften for a chunkier final product. You can also pulse briefly in a food processor if you want a smoother consistency.)
3. Return fruit to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add sugar (use more or less sugar depending on your preferences and the sweetness of your fruit) along with lemon juice and spices and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about fifteen to twenty minutes or until noticeably thickened. At this point, it will have an applesauce-like consistency, but you can cook it down even more for an even thicker texture and more caramelized flavor if you like.
 4. Pear butter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, frozen for up to 2 months, or water bath processed in jam jars and stored at room temperature for up to a year.