When I think of September my first inclination is to let my thoughts go immediately to, what else, apples! Apple cider, apple sauce, apple crisp, apple pie, apple picking, apples, apples, apples!
This year however, we have pears.
I'm sure our trees are making up for last year's poor performance because this season they're loaded. The thing about gardening is we never really know what we'll get. We put in the work and hours and anxiety and care but, at the end of each day, nature must take over and we walk away with a feeling of well, it is what it is. Last year's fruit crop [or not-so-fruit crop] is fine evidence of this. If you suffered through no apples, pears, or peaches [at least organically grown, local ones] you know what I mean.
Which leads me to a confession.
I'm quite the glutton. In fact, I may just turn into a peach or pear or watermelon or maybe all three.
If you've fasted from anything before you may be able to relate. Or if you try to stick to local foods and follow seasonal eating patterns you definitely get it. Our mantra around here is: eat it while it's good and fresh and juicy and bright and delicious and eat a lot. Oh, and freeze or can everything else.
And so we're doing just that. We're eating and snacking and canning and freezing.
Which leads me to a recipe. A really, really simple recipe.
Spiced pear sauce.
A few weeks ago we picked our first pears and then a small cool snap got me thinking - apples make wonderful sauces, what about pears?
You may want to sit down for this.
Pear sauce is even better.
May you fully embrace the last days of summer - eat outside, swim, climb trees, walk in the park, swing. May you can or freeze some food [and be really proud when you do]. May you bite into a crunchy apple and juicy pear and be reminded to fully live in the present knowing what is this year may not come around next season. And may you make lots and lots of sauce.
Quick disclaimer: this is about as loose as recipes get. I've provided basic recipe guidelines but everything will be adjusted to your own taste preferences.
Fresh picked, organic pears
Fresh or ground dried ginger
Food mill, blender, or food processor
Prepare pears by washing [really important if you aren't using organic pears]. Halve and then quarter the pears and remove core or simply cut around the core. Place pears quarters in a large stainless steel pot and add water to within one inch of the bottom [a few cups should do the trick]. If you are using fresh ginger, peel and cut the ginger into 1/4" chunks [a couple chunks work well]. Place in the pot with the pears. Cover the pot and bring water to boil. Once the water boils, turn the heat down just a bit to a hard simmer. Cook the pears until they are really soft [anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes].
If you are using a food mill or have a glass blender you can proceed right away. If you have a plastic blender or food processor you'll want to allow the pears to cool to warm before you blend.
Place the pears in a food mill, blender, or food processor and mill to your desired consistency. Once all of the pears have been ground into sauce, add powdered ginger [if you are not using fresh add anywhere from 1/4 tsp - 1 tsp depending on the taste you desire] and a small pinch of cardamom. Start really small with the spices and add more as you go. Cinnamon is also a really nice addition but again, start small.
You can either can [follow your canner's instructions], freeze [allow to cool before placing in freezer], or eat your sauce.