Homemade gifts—especially the edible kind—are always appreciated around the holidays, but let's face it, they can also be a lot of work to make and package. This year, treat everyone to a scratch-made gift while also saving your own sanity. Our Test Kitchen came up with a creative big-batch gift that can be made in your slow cooker with very little hands-on cooking time. This Cranberry-Pear Butter is a nice change of pace from the usual pumpkin or apple butter, and is just as delicious spread on your morning biscuit or slice of toast. You could even serve it on a cheese plate, alongside toasted baguette slices or crackers. (It would pair wonderfully with goat cheese.) Made with apple cider, cranberries, and pears, the fruit butter has a subtle kick from fresh ginger and a hint of spice from ground cinnamon. Make a batch, package it in small jars (the recipe makes 16 4-ounce jars), and spread holiday cheer to friends, neighbors, teachers, and all of the other people on your holiday gift list.


Credit: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe Summary

8 hrs
9 hrs 30 mins
30 mins
16 (4-oz.) jars


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until pears and cranberries are very soft, about 4 hours. Transfer mixture, in batches, to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid to avoid splatters. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl. After processing all cranberry mixture, return to slow cooker.

  • Increase heat to HIGH, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until mixture has thickened, 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours. Spoon mixture into 16 (4-ounce) jars, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover with jar lids, and chill 8 hours or up to 2 weeks.