This is a fantastic recipe to make when you have an over abundance of fruit, and even more so when it is a little too ripe for snacking on fresh. My goal was to create a spread that actually tastes like the fruit in which it was made from so, I went light on the sweetener and used spices only to subtly enhance the natural fruit flavor. In my house, we usually have more than one variety of apples and pears on hand so, I used a mixture of gala and granny smith, bartlett and d'anjou.
For the Apple Pear Butter you will need;
8 to 10 apples
8 to 10 pears
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup water
Quarter and roughly dice the apples and pears, remove the cores, then put them into a large pot with all of the ingredients and toss to mix. Heat on low until the mixtures comes to a simmer, then cover and let cook until the fruit breaks down, this will take about an hour. Once this happens remove the lid, continue to simmer, stirring often, for another hour until the liquid begins to evaporate and the mixture thickens. When the texture is that of a thin applesauce, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly before pureeing it.
Note: It is important to take caution when pureeing hot mixtures such as this, as steam builds and can result in not only a huge mess but, more important injury. It is always a good idea to remove the pusher from your food processor, or center part of the blender lid. Also, pureeing in batches is best, filling the cup no more than half full.
Once pureed, push through a strainer this will remove any extra bits of skin. Then put back into the pot and reduce on low, for 30 minutes. The Apple Pear Butter will naturally thicken as it cools. This recipe yields about 2 cups, and tastes wonderful served warm, room temperature or cold, and can also be stored in the freezer.
Apple Pear Butter Ricotta Tartlets
These are so easy to make, taste delicious, and are a great option when needing to put together a quick dessert, or like in my case, to satisfy a sweet tooth!
One sheet of puff pastry
1/4 cup Apple Pear Butter
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Ricotta
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a round cookie cutter, at least a quarter of an inch larger than the size of a mini muffin tin, cut twelve rounds of puff pastry, then press each into the mini muffin tin to form tartlet shells. Prick the bottom of each shell with a fork, this will prevent them from puffing up too much, and bake until golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, whisk the vanilla into the ricotta then using a half teaspoon measure, evenly distribute the ricotta mixture into each tartlet shell. [The Apple Pear Butter offers plenty of sweetness but, if you prefer, you can also sweeten the ricotta by adding honey or agave.] Using a quarter teaspoon measure, add the Apple Pear Butter on top of the ricotta and swirl using a tooth pick.