Cinnamon-y Comice Pear Sauce. Pure and simple.
I have some great neighbors.
My next-door-neighbor Cynthia called yesterday, and it went something like this:
Cynthia: "Hey Brook...I got one of those Harry & David gift baskets, and I can't eat all these pears...you want 'em?"
My first thought was: Are you kidding me? but I just said "YES. Yes I do!"
I know. It's a preserver's dream come true. A next-door neighbor with fresh fruits and vegetables that she doesn't want. She's done it a few times before -- brought over extra produce she can't use. I always reward her with jams, pickles and chutney. It's my way of paying her back.
I used to think to myself: Hmmm...she sure does seem to have a lot of excess fruits and veggies...
...but now I'm onto her.
She brings over the goods. Like clockwork, a day or two later I take over a sealed jar or two of something I made from the bounty.
Hey, I'm not complaining. Me & Cynthia...we got a good thing goin' on.
Yes, they were a little beat up, but beauty is on the inside!
5 pounds of Comice "Royal Riviera" Pears
Here's how easy it is to make Cinnamon-y Pear Sauce at home. I used Comice pears, but you can use any type of pear you want. Or you could use apples and make Applesauce. Why Applesauce is one word and Pear Sauce is two words, I have absolutely no idea.
Place 3/4 cup of water plus the zest AND juice of one lemon in a large non-reactive stockpot.
Never underestimate the power of fresh lemon zest!
Quarter and core -- peeling is optional -- 5 pounds of pears, which is about 7 good-sized fruit, adding the prepared pear pieces to the water/lemon mixture as you work to prevent browning.
Note: some pears need to be peeled, because the addition of their peels can give the sauce a gritty texture. Not all pears, but some. Test the peel. Thick peels usually result in gritty sauce.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat to a strong simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pears become tender. At this point, gently smash the pear quarters with a potato masher.
Simmer for 10 more minutes, then break out the immersion blender. If you don't have one, get one. You will use it for pureeing soups, gravies, sauces, fruit butters and preserves, and wonder how you lived this long without one.
When the mixture is smooth, add 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of good quality ground cinnamon. (You can leave the cinnamon out too...it will still be delicious.) As the mixture cooks, it will reduce, and the natural sweetness of your pears will really shine. You might not need any more sugar, it's all a matter of taste. I have made this with no sugar, or as much as 3/4 cup of sugar. It all depends on the pears used, so just taste it as it cooks and adjust accordingly.
Simmer another 10 minutes or until it's reached your preferred thickness, stirring often to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
<<< These pears were Pug-approved!
So was the sauce :)
Gizzy. Always in the middle of the photo shoot. ShuMai is in the photo, upper right. Giz again, with the 1/2 peck of pears, upper left.
Note: the Pears I used were organic Harry & David trademarked "Royal Riviera" Comice Pears. A fabulous pear to eat out of hand. It's juicy yet firm, with a fine graininess that is somehow appealing. I didn't peel the pears, beacause peels were such a beautiful golden color and I didn't want to waste them. Keep in mind, cooking the pears with their peel does add texture (and color) to the finished sauce, so if you don't like the idea of that, peel the pears after you quarter them, but before you cook them.