Condiment Corner: Dulce de Leche Pear Apple Butter

By 300 Sandwiches

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pearapplebutterLOFall hit us like a hard smack across the cheek this weekend. Break out the fleece jackets, the Crock-Pot (!) and….the homemade apple butter.

I learned to make homemade apple butter last winter. We use it on everything from toast to grilled cheese. I was in the mood for more now that the fall weather has arrived. After dropping off E’s dad at the airport, E and I had a Sunday night dinner in the neighborhood, then took a nice long bath, started laundry and got a head start on some work we needed to finish. While E sat in front of his computer, I started cooking.

I’ve made apple butter. But I haven’t made pear apple butter. And what could I add….OH HOLD ON…we still have dulce de leche left from last week! What if I…oh, should I? Yes. Dulche de leche pear apple butter.

Yes, I did.

I added just a smidge of that leftover dulce de leche I made last week into the butter at the last minute, just a smidge to add sweetness and thickness. I just used a spoonful. Then of course, I ate a spoonful of dulce de leche straight from the spoon because I can’t resist. After a few quick pulses in the food processor, I had a small batch of sweet fruity spread perfect on toast or crackers. E and I spread some on that homemade banana bread I made before his father arrived for breakfast, planning a weekend trip upstate in the next few weekends to check out the fall foliage.

Below, the small batch recipe:

3 pears, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
3 apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 generous teaspoon dulce de leche

Combine apples, pears, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add 1/4 cup of the water. Simmer until boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure fruit mixture does not burn. During cooking, slowly add the rest of the water as the mixture boils down to prevent from burning the bottom of the pan. When mixture is soft enough to mash with a spoon, remove from heat.

Pour into food processor, then add a generous tablespoon of dulce de leche. Pulse until smooth. Serve on crackers, on toast, on a sandwich or eat off of a spoon. Or, spoon into airtight jars or containers and refrigerate. Will keep for at least a week. Yields about 1 cup.

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