Every year during the wintertime, I am always surprised at how quickly the year has passed. It really is true what they say, time passes much faster the older you get. I am truly enjoying fall this year (despite the 85-degree weather in Los Angeles) because of the loads of apples, pumpkin, squash, and persimmons I've been incorporating into my meals. Notice, this is my fifth recipe on fall produce this month! I'm not stopping yet. Today's special treat is a homemade apple-pear maple butter. I love spreading this butter on a slice of toast or making a good ole' peanut butter and apple pear maple butter sandwich. So good, I can spread this on almost anything!
Apple Pear Maple Butter
- 1 ½ pounds fuji mcintosh or braeburn apples
- 1 ½ pounds bartlett pears
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Peel and core apples and pears, discarding seeds. Cut into small chunks. Place in a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, uncovered. Cook until the apples and pears have softened, about 20 minutes.
- Puree fruit until smooth using food mill or blender. Transfer back into the sauce pot and add remaining ingredients from apple cider - vanilla extract. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until the sauce has thickened and become almost like a paste. Remove from heat and cool. Store in sterilized canning jars.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Apple pear maple butter is similar to jam in that you're cooking down fruit with sugar and a little acid. In this instance, it takes a bit longer because you are cooking down the fruit first than adding the spices.
Now here comes the question. Does it really matter whether you cook the apples first then add the spices or cook everything all together? It was time to find out.
I cut my fruit into small pieces to help it break down faster. I combined all ingredients in a large saucepot and brought it to a boil over medium heat, uncovered. Once it reached a boil, the heat was reduced to medium-low and continued to cook for about an hour.
At this point, the fruit had caramelized, yet it still was chunky, not yet butter. I simply transferred the fruit into a blender and pureed until smooth.
Voila! Apple pear maple butter! In my opinion, the butter tasted the same prepared either way, so whatever makes your life easier, I say go with that method!
Now time to add this amazing butter on everything...oatmeal...yogurt...muffins...mmm...
For more sauce inspiration check out this pear hibiscus jam!