If you offer me free food (pretty much whatever it is) I will take it home and figure out how to cook it. It’s the budget-er in me that just can’t stand to see food go to waste. Even if it is one ring of onion from your fast food cheeseburger… I will take it home, freeze it, and chop it up to top a homemade pizza later in the month. It’s just how I roll.
So last weekend, when I was gifted with a 10-gallon bucket of pears from my husband’s grandmother (who grows them in her YARD, I might add)… I did a little happy dance, then did some thinking and came up with a few ways to eat them. I made pear sauce, pear clafouti, and pear muffins. I’ll be sharing the clafouti recipe with you later. It is a special recipe that I included in my 2014 Recipe Calendar!
And boy, were the resulting treats delicious! I’ve never been one to crave applesauce (or in this case, pear), but there is such a difference when it is homemade vs. store-bough! Such an addictive treat. I can’t put my finger on it exactly… other than to say it just has so much MORE flavor. I actually found myself eating pear sauce for dessert throughout the week, Whaaaaat???
And it couldn’t be simpler to make, so I’m going to share my recipe with you today.
Just grab an assistant to peel while you chop! You’ll need about 12 pears. This recipe also works equally well with apples, if that’s what you have on hand.
Chop them into small pieces, and toss them into a crockpot along with 3/4 C. water, 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/4 C. sugar (optional), 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 tsp vanilla or maple extract. (I used maple… YUM!)
Turn the crockpot to High and walk away for however long you want. (2 hours should be sufficient. But if your pears are extra crunchy, like these were, it may take up to 4.)
When you come back, they should be soft and will have turned a lovely caramelized shade.
They can certainly be eaten like this, delightfully chunky, but if you’d like your pear sauce to be more smooth and traditional, then an immersion blender is a great tool to use! If you don’t have one of these, a regular blender or food processor will also work. But I love my immersion blender more than any other kitchen tool because it minimizes my dirty dishes and simplifies my life. You should totally get yourself one for Christmas!
You can blend it as much or as little as you want… so you control the level of chunkiness!
This makes a terrific snack for kiddos, if you have em’. Even babies love it! But it is complex enough for the adult palate too… with those hints of lemon, ginger, and cinnamon. It’s just SO good, I wish I could transfer the taste to you through osmosis from your computer. One can’t imagine it if one has only ever eaten store-bought fruit sauce. I found myself wanting to sneak a few spoonfuls of this after every meal this week!
Have you ever grown your own fruit? It is something I’ve never ventured into, but I am completely infatuated with the idea of it. Heading out to the orchard to harvest apples and pears in the Fall just sounds so picturesque, doesn’t it?
I guess having a grandma who grows her fruit is the next best thing. I’d love to hear all about your fruit trees (whether real or fantasy) in the comments.
And here’s the printable recipe for ya!
Crockpot Pear (or Apple) Sauce
This homemade fruit sauce is utterly divine, with hints of ginger and cinnamon. With just a touch of added sugar and no artificial ingredients, it beats the store-bought kind hands-down!
Author: Carissa Casey
- -12 pears, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- -3/4 C. water
- -1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
- -1 tsp. ground ginger
- -1/4 C. sugar
- -1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- -pinch of salt
- -1/2 tsp. Maple Extract
- Toss chopped pears (or apples) in spices, sugar, water, lemon juice, and maple extract to combine. Cook all together in a crock pot on high for 2-4 hrs (until fruit has softened.) Use an immersion blender to blend to your desired consistency.