As mentioned in the previous post for the Spiced Pumpkin Butter, the slow cooker clocked in some overtime this last weekend. This was a spot on recipe and a now a favorite in my repetoire. Pear and apple butter made with Bartlett pears and Gala apples. Use the largest cinnamon stick in your stash. Best of all, this can be refrigerated for 3 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months!
This Pear and Apple Butter was cooked up before the spiced pumpkin butter last weekend. I’m really happy how it turned out and that it went for the full eight hours of low-and-slow cooktime. The house was filled with the delicious aromas of sweet pears, apples, and spicy cinnamon starting into the third-hour or so! Hubbs remarked a couple of times that it smelled like Thanksgiving and I almost thought to pull out the holiday music and plan the Christmas tree, already!
This is a good one to make these days and have it for the the next months, either for your use or gifting. Also, if you’re expecting guests, have this cooking in the background and it just may melt everyone into an early holiday spirit. ;)
Except for the peeling, coring and quartering of the fruit, there’s relatively little active time on your part. Just plan to enjoy the benefits of making this butter when you’re going to be home for the day because it’s going to require eight hours of cooking time.
I used a large cinnamon stick for this batch, but would even add another for even more of that cinnamon goodness.
The recipe calls for 2½ pounds each of apples and pears. Weigh the fruit instead of relying on the “number” of fruit. The apples and pears can range in size. Eight apples and six pears (my Gala apples were small) were used in my batch.
Used a salad shooter to grate the fruit, pointing it into the slow cooker. This way, I don’t lose any of the juices in this initial step when having to transfer the grated fruit from the food processor into the cooker. After you’ve cooked down the fruit during the first four hours, you’ll transfer it into a food processor and purée it then continue with the cooking process for another four hours, uncovered.
If you decide to freeze your butters, make sure to use freezer safe containers.
To The Core
I have a couple of gadgets to “core” apples. Some of them have bent and some of them are a bit scarey to use. I didn’t feel like struggling with my apple corers this last weekend so I sliced the apples and used a spoon to carefully pull the rough part of the apple out (along with the stem and seeds). I realize you probably lose a little bit more of the flesh around the core, but it worked for me.
As I’m prepping the apples, peeling and coring away, I happened to notice how whimsical these little cores were! QUICK…where’s the camera!
Not Just Any Pear
While I never met a pear my taste buds didn’t like, some pears do better than others for baking and cooking. Select pears for the job especially if you need the fruit to either break down more easily (like for jams and butters), or if you need it to retain their shape (like in baking or poaching). Also, combining varieties for both the break down and for some to retain their shape is a common alternative (like it’s done with apples for pies).
The beautiful Bartlett pear becomes softer and sweeter as it ripens. It is known to be the most aromatic, juciest and flavorful of the varieties. Bartletts fall apart in heat and are an excellent choice to use for sauces, butters, and jams.
Makes about 5-6 cups
2½ pounds Bartlett pears (depending on size, about 5-7 pears)
2½ pounds Gala apples (depending on size, about 5-8)
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 large cinnamon stick
Peel, quarter, and core pears and apples. Using a food processor or salad shooter, finely grate fruit. Transfer grated fruit to a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in dark brown sugar, coarse salt, and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
After four hours, remove cinnamon stick and set aside. Transfer mixture to a food processor (in batches if necessary), and process until smooth. Return the mixture back to the slow cooker, along with the cinnamon stick and cook on high uncovered, for another 4 hours OR until it is thick and browned.
Discard cinnamon stick and let the mixture cool. Transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Use freezer safe containers if you plan to freeze.
- Weigh your fruit rather than relying on the quantity.
- If you enjoy cinnamon, use a large cinnamon stick or add another.
- Use Bartlett pears for the sweetest, juiciest variety.