Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vanilla Pear Apple Sauce

I love apple sauce but the standard same old same old boring cinnamon flavored apple sauce gets dull. One variation I often make and I made tonight is Vanilla Pear Apple Sauce. So easy and tasty.
You need the following or some multiple of the following
1 apple
1 pear
1/3 vanilla bean
1/3 cup water
dash of salt

Tonight I used
3 apples
3 pears
1 vanilla bean
1 cup water
a pinch of salt

Cut up the pears and apples into cubes. If you are pureeing later for a smooth sauce you do not even need to cut off the skins. If you keep the skins on the color will be darker but more fiber and healthier. I keep mine on. For a chunky sauce most people prefer the skins removed. Put into a heavy pan. I use my 3 1/2 quart Le Creuset but any heavy pan that hold in heat and moisture well will work. I have also made this in a crockpot several times.Take the vanilla bean and cut in half and then scrape out the inside seeds. Wipe your knife along one of the cut up apples or pears to make sure you get every last delicious seed into the pot. Go ahead and put the remaining pod into the pot as well if you like a smooth sauce if chuncky you may want to skip the vanilla bean pod as it will not mash well but purees great. I used to hesitate to use real vanilla beans in my cooking as at the grocery store they are about six dollars each. A friend of mine taught me that you can buy vanilla beans online for what amounts to about 50 cents each which has me much more willing to cook with the beans. If you do not want to put the pod in here put in it a jar with sugar and over time it will scent the sugar with a hint of vanilla and be great.
see those delicious seeds
Back to our sauce. Add in the water and salt to the pot. Bring the heat up until just simmering and then move to low and simmer until the fruit is beginning to fall apart (time will depend a lot on amount being made and on how low your low is and how well your pot hold heat). If doing this in a crockpot add a little extra water and just let it go all day. Remove the vanilla bean pods if you put them in and then mash with a potato masher if you like chunky sauce. Keep the pod in if you are like me puree with an immersion blender for a smooth sauce.  Chill in the fridge and have as a snack or try it on pancakes or with pork chops. If you want to store it it freezes great.
The color is much more like caramel due to the pureed vanilla bean but oh my the taste is out of this world.

Smooth Vanilla Pear Apple Sauce

No need to add sugar as the sugars in the fruit are enhanced by the vanilla and the whole thing tastes sweet and delicious.

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