A number of years ago, my sister and her friend planted two apple trees in front of my parents' house. Both grew tall and strong. But then, one day, lightning struck one of the apple trees, and it toppled over. After it was removed, there was an empty place where there was once a tree. The only thing that grew were (inedible and maybe poisonous) mushrooms.
But still, there were enough apples so that I could make plenty of applesauce.
One day, much more recently, my sister was talking to the neighbors, who have three apple trees and one pear tree. They let her know that they did not like to use the fruit that fell from the tree. Any apples and any pears were fair game. My sister relayed that message to me.
I started collecting pears. They were small and not super pretty. I thought about combining them with apples for a sauce and I came up with this recipe:
Core a combination of pears and apples. It is not necessary to peel anything, which is good because peeling pears is seriously annoying.
For this, I like to use apples and pears that I find on walks or from nearby trees. If you take walks in autumn, you'll find a variety of apples and pears so that you can have several varieties in your pear-apple sauce. I generally prefer to have more pears than apples, mainly because pears are juicier and sweeter than apples. This recipe is for three quarts of pears and apples.
Slice the pears and apples.
Boil approximately one and a half cups of a water and apple cider mixture in a large pot. I generally use three-quarters of a cup of water and three-quarters of a cup of apple cider. It takes about five or six minutes to get the liquid boiling.
Add your pears and apples. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pot.
Check in ten minutes to make sure that you have enough liquid.
Re-cover pot and stir the apples and pears every ten minutes until they are soft.
Once they are soft, you'll want to take a little taste to see if you need to add any sort of seasonings, such as sugar, cinnamon, etc. I generally do not add anything to the pear-applesauce. I find that the pears are sweet enough so that sugar is not necessary and that any other added flavorings would mask the more delicate flavor of the pears.
If you like your pear-applesauce to be smooth, you can run it through the food mill. Otherwise, it is ready to put into a container and serve.
Here is another variation. In the summer, when the peaches are ripe, get a bunch of peaches and a bunch of pears and make a peach-pear sauce. It is very sweet and tasty. You could probably get fussy children to eat this.
Once again, I use three quarts of peaches and pears. I generally use an equal amount of both.
Remove the pits from the peaches and core the pears. Slice peaches and pears.
Boil approximately one cup of water. That may be too much water. I am still tweaking this part of the recipe.
As with the other sauces, add the peaches and pears to the pot, with the heat set at medium. After ten minutes, check your liquid level.
Continue stirring your peaches and pears every ten minutes until the fruit is soft. This will take considerably less time than applesauce. To cause it to take even less time, use over ripe fruit. This is a good way to turn soft fruit into something that you will want to eat.
Once the fruit is mushy, you can taste it to see if you want to add seasonings. I don't add anything to this because peaches and pears are very sweet.
If you like your peach-pear sauce to be smooth, you can put it through the food mill.
If you find that there is too much liquid, skim off the excess and drink it. It is very yummy.
Enjoy! You can eat any of these sauces with your main course or as a dessert.