Welcome to the first day of November. Or, as some people like to say: RabbitRabbit. Once again, as I did back in the month of May, I am embarking on the challenge of posting here every single day by participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). (Though technically, since I began on the 2nd day of the month in May I was one day short of the full month.) To that end, I’m flexing my muscles and stretching my fingers – and sipping my coffee.
There have been a lot of firsts around here lately, some rather modest and others less so. The first first, which is decidedly on the modest side, is the apple-pear sauce I made recently. An applesauce afficionado of my acquaintance insists that the best way to make applesauce is by using apple juice instead of water. And who am I to argue? I didn’t have any apple juice on hand, but I did have a bottle of Tart Cherry Stomp in the fridge – a local NY juice available at farmers’ markets that is made by Red Jacket Orchards (which, I just noticed on their website, has garnered rave reviews from both New York Magazine and the New York Times! Justifiably so, as the cherry flavor is incredibly pure and simply delectable). But being as it’s kind of precious stuff, I cut it with some – good, but less dear – black currant juice I also happened to have in the fridge. Since I had both apples and pears that needed to be et (CSA membership = constant stream of apples in the Fall), the applesauce changed from being a singular event into one that consisted of a medley of fruits.
I wanted to make a simple, unsweetened sauce that highlighted the flavors of the fruits. While the pears – and the apples too, for that matter – added a lot of natural sweetness, this sauce is definitely on the un-sweet side of things, which is generally my preference. Naturally, sugar, honey or maple syrup could be added to sweeten the pot. The purply colour was a lovely surprise.
I peeled some of the fruit that had thick skin, but left the peels on others because they add nice flavor and colour (and vitamins) and I thought they would cook down nice and soft. Not entirely so, as they were a bit unpleasant. I need to get a food mill, which I think would be the perfect way to deal with the peel problem. So, peel or leave unpeeled as you see fit. If you have a food mill, by all means use it – and let me know how it turns out!
[My batch used these quantities, though amounts are entirely variable.]
Purple Apple-Pear Sauce
5 medium-large apples and pears (approx. 2-2.5 lbs)
1 cup juice (apple, or another variety)
Peel (or leave unpeeled, as preferred), core and roughly chop the fruit. Put in a heavy saucepan with the juice and simmer over medium heat until fruit is soft and juice has thickened. Cool. Eat.