A friend of mine gifted me with Cooking pears from the trees in her back yard. I had not a clue as what to do with them. This recipe was awesome. I made the recipe using only the pears, but kept everything else the same (except for the nuts, we're not big nut fans here). It was awesome! We had this warm with cream; over ice cream; with pound cake; as a side dish ... the list goes on. Thank you NurseDi. This is a winner! I'm even looking forward to next pear season!
1) Taste: quite sweet. Used as a dessert topping, it should be rather sweet, but I prefer fruit dishes to be slightly more tart/acidic. Perhaps you should adjust the sugar and maple syrup according to how sweet the apples and pears are, as well as your personal preference. 2) Difficulty: very easy. Not only is this recipe suitable for beginners or kids-in-the-kitchen, it’s also a novel crockpot recipe. 3) Changes: I used Golden Delicious apples and Conference pears (just happened to have those varieties on hand). Pears are seldom tart and Golden Delicious are not a very sour apple, so I cut the brown sugar and maple syrup in half, leaving everything else the same. This was still plenty sweet. I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice to the mix, and used 1 cinnamon stick as well, as I thought that would infuse more flavor while simmering in the crockpot. For raisins I used golden Sultanas – they worked well. And instead of cornstarch with water, I mixed the cornstarch with pear juice, just to pick up the pear/fruit flavor a little more. 4) Menu: I wanted a sweet note to go with a meal of sausage and sauerkraut, and I didn’t want “plain old apple pie.” I had some pound cake in the freezer and the apple/pear sauce went very well with the mild flavor of the cake. Notes: --Next time, I will use a more tart apple, like Bramley or Granny Smith. --I will try cutting the butter/margarine to 3 Tablespoons and see how it goes. --Depending on the apples, I may cut the brown sugar and maple syrup a little more. --I think it might be interesting to experiment with “craisins” or dried cherries or another kind of raisin (perhaps currants) in place of the golden raisins I used. --I would definitely use juice in place of the water with the cornstarch, tho I might try using apple juice concentrate instead of pear juice just to see how it turns out. Difficult to go wrong with this recipe, and I think it could prove very flexible. My crockpot has two wells, and I cooked the meat/sauerkraut in one side, the apple/pear mixture in the other – very convenient. I peeled, cored and quartered the apples and pears; the fruit didn’t all fall apart or get mushy, and there were definite “chunks” of fruit in the sauce. Kept on the more tart side, this could make a tasty condiment with pork or chicken instead of the more traditional applesauce. Certainly a keeper for me; I'm always searching for really good crockpot recipes.