Monday, November 15, 2010

Apple-Pear Butter

A couple of weeks ago we went out and picked a bunch of apples and pears. They were at varying stages of ripeness, from rock-hard Flemish Beauty pears to the perfectly ripe Bartletts and Gingergold apples shown below. So, with the ripest fruits, I made Apple-Pear Butter! I looked at a dozen different recipes, considering the equipment I planned to use/not use, and my personal preferences for spices and sugar content. I am too scared of canning for now (I want to try it at some point in the future!) so I divided it into three containers, two of which went into the freezer.

I used a total of about 5lbs of fruit (about 3 lbs of Bartlett pears and 2 lbs Gingergold apples), which yielded about 2 1/2 cups of butter.

Here's what I did: peel and core the fruit, then cut it into 1" chunks. Place in a large pot and add 1 cup of apple cider and 1 cup of water. Liquid will not come above the level of the fruit. Simmer, uncovered, until very tender, about 45 minutes.

Put the mixture in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Pass the fruit puree through a sieve back into the pot, in batches. This step alone took me about half an hour, so if you have a food mill, now is the time to use it!

Add 1 cup of brown sugar (you may need more sugar if you are actually canning, to help discourage bacterial growth - please make sure to consult a recipe for this), a cinnamon stick and a lump of peeled fresh ginger. And some ground cardamom (1/2 tsp) as well.

Cook on low for a very very long time, about 2-3 hours, stirring frequently. Better put on some music and get a tasty beverage for this one. When it tastes and looks right, remove the cinnamon and ginger and pour into as many containers as you wish.

This was a lot of work, but the final product is totally worth it. Thick, sweet, almost honey-like. So far I have just been eating it by the spoonful, or on top of yogurt with some of my favorite homemade granola (yes I will share, soon!). But I kind of want to try making some muffins or scones with little dollops of this apple-pear butter inside or on top... I will have to experiment.


  1. Wow, I'm impressed at how committed you were to this. But it looks and sounds tasty.


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