I have two apple trees and two pear trees. They were here when I bought my house. I was thrilled. I didn’t even like pears in those days. But I learned to first like, then love them. (The secret? Try a sliced pear with a slice of cheddar cheese. Yum. That was the gateway to my now love of them.) Anyway, it turns out that these great old trees really produce. A lot. So, I’m always looking for things to make from this surplus. This year I’m making apple/pear butter. I’ve canned about 15 pints for my winter enjoyment, and now I’m making it fresh and giving it to my friends. (Happy September!) If you have a crock pot, then it’s super easy. If not, it can be made on the stove top. You just have to give it a bit more attention in stirring it. A plus is that your house will smell absolutely wonderful while you are making it.
Here’s my recipe:
· About 10-20 apples and pears. It’s better to have more apples than pears. You can use bruised fruit, just cut out the bad spots.
· Organic brown Sugar to taste. I use about one half cup per quart
· Spices to taste. I use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.
Cut fruit up in small pieces. Put in crockpot and add about ½ cup water. Turn on high. Check back every couple of hours and give it a stir. I like to start mine in the afternoon, turning it down to the low setting overnight. In the morning, add the sugar and the spices and give it a good stir. Let it cook on low another hour or two for the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust flavors, if necessary. Turn it off.
There are three ways to proceed. You can hot water bath them to can them for the wintertime. You can freeze it, in which case you let the butter cool, then put in freezer safe containers, label them, and freeze. Or you can refrigerate and eat at will. This does make a nice gift, especially if you can it and gift it during the winter season. This butter is good on toast, pancakes and waffles. It’s also quite tasty over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.