One of my favorite fall time treats is taking local apples and pears and putting them together in a beautiful sauce. The additional of pears brings a nice added dimension of flavor to applesauce. It's really simple to do.
Here is the combination of fruit I used. You can interchange varieties and amounts.
4 McIntosh Apples
3 sweet gold Apples (such as Ginger Gold, Prime Gold, Golden Delicious, Blondee, Golden Supereme, Ozard Gold)
3 Spartlett Pears
Any pear you choose will work, I think Bosc pears are a excellent option. I choose the Spartlett because I think it is a little more acidic than other pears. I didn't really enjoy eating them as is. Also they just happen to be close to going bad, so I didn't want to waste them. Applesauce is a great way to use some fruit that is heading south. You didn't buy the fruit to throw it in the trash!
I like the sweetness and flavor the Prime Gold apples provides. You can use Golden Delicious if you can't find the Prime Gold. McIntosh apples have enough tartness to them to balance out the sweetness of the Prime Gold and the pears. They also become mush easily, so they cook quickly. I have used this combo of apples several times with great results. I usually don't even need to add additional sugar.
1. First off, I think applesauce making is not an exact science. Instead of following a recipe, let your tongue do the testing. If it needs more sugar add it, if it needs some spice, add that to. You can also adjust the apples you use based on whether you want it more tart or more sweet.
2. If you have a food mill, I recommend making your life easier as well as adding flavor and vitamins to your sauce and leave the skins on (with both the pears and the apples). You can remove them with the food mill when done. So now all you have to do is slice them up to remove the cores in both the apples and the pears
3. For cooking them you can either use a pot on the stovetop or a slow cooker. You can get good results either way, but with a slow cooker your chance of burning the bottom of one of your pans are gone. I add a little bit of liquid to get started. I use ¼ cup of apple juice. The apples and pears will release plenty of liquid on their own.
4. Cook your sauce until it is the consistency you desire. I let mine cook all afternoon. Then run it through a food mill or you can use a immersion blender if you already removed the skins. If your sauce comes out too runny (mine did) then place it back in the slow cooker, turn up the heat to full blast, and wait until it's the right consistency. Add sugar to taste (white or brown it's your choice). Serve warm or refrigerate.
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