Saturday, July 20, 2013

Toast Topper #23: Exotic Apple-Pear Butter

Exotic Apple-Pear ButterIt's no secret around my house that I love apple butter. Actually, my mom and I love any kind of spreadable fruit (or vegetable-fruit) object - from the eerily accurate Grandma's Mock Apricot Jam to Triple Cherry Jam and even Blueberry Butter, there is almost nothing we won't try to spread on perfectly toasted bread. When I found myself with a bit more fruit than I could eat in one sitting (thanks to our purchase of local berries followed by a bumper crop of tiny strawberries from our garden), I got inspired to make a small batch of yet another Toast Topper. This time, though, I got extra inspiration from an ingredient that I had been dusting on my roasted broccoli and cauliflower since finding it at Bulk Barn: sumac. I love it's tangy, almost citrusy flavour (that also has a hint of a salty taste) on my savoury stuff, and it only took an accidental dusting of it on one of my apple slices to highlight how versatile it was. The fruit took on a sweeter, exotic tone, with a cleaner finish - and I couldn't wait to add it to my latest butter.

To play up the "exotic" angle of the spread, I also added in the merest hints of vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom, then lightly sweetened everything with a hint of maple syrup. It smelled amazing as it was cooking down, and it was a shame I made so little of it - the one jar I didn't water-bath can is long gone now, and the other one is squirreled away for holiday gifts so that we don't get at it sooner! It's thick, spiced and just sweet enough that it would make fantastic toast as well as an awesome accompaniment to roast pork or chicken.

Submitted to Wellness Weekends on Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Gluten Free Fridays on Vegetarian Mamma

Exotic Apple-Pear Butter
Makes 2 cups, 8 (1/4 cup) servings
3 large pears, cored (no need to peel)
4 large apples, cored (no need to peel)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sumac
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamom
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. In a food processor or with a box grater, grate the fruit coarsely. Transfer to a large pot.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except vanilla and lemon juice), cover and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes, until fruit is completely softened.
  3. With an immersion blender or in the food processor (no need to clean), puree until smooth.
  4. Pour back into the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours - until thick and spreadable.
  5. If canning, stir in the lemon juice, spoon into sterilized jars and process in a waterbath for 30 minutes. If not, cool to room temperature, then scoop into a covered container and refrigerate (up to 2 weeks) or freeze (up to 6 months).
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 107.1
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.5 mg
Total Carbs: 28.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 0.5 g