Cooked Apples and Pears
My mother and I have been making cooked apples for years, usually as a side dish for pork but, sometimes, as dessert. However, as of late, I have been making them more often as dessert, adding more of the spices typically found in an apple pie. Recently, I decided to add a couple pears to the pot and we love it. I have tried different varieties of pears, depending on availability, and they all work equally well, as does a combination of apples. This recipe is very versatile, as you can use more or less of any of the ingredients. I usually add more of the spices, especially the cinnamon. Cooked apples and pears can be served alone as a quick, easy and healthy treat, as a topping for ice cream or with your favorite pound or spice cake. For something similar and every bit as delicious, see the Chunky Baked Apples in the similar and related recipes.
- 4 medium cooking apples, such as Granny Smith and/or macintosh
- 2 large pears, such as bartlett, anjou or bosc
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Honey (optional, see note)
- Water as needed
Scrub the apples and pears and remove the cores. Cut into small chunks and place in a large saucepan. Add the spices and optional honey. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples and pears are very tender, about 20 minutes. If there is too much liquid, remove the lid and cook until the juices have reduced slightly. This can be served warm, room temperature or cold. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to one week.
Notes: For my family, the natural sweetness of the apples and pears is sufficient. However, you can add some honey, about one tablespoon, if you like sweeter desserts. If in doubt, wait until the fruit has cooked, and taste before adjusting.