It’s another great feral apple year! I improvised this dish two years ago when the tree branches were literally breaking under the weight of the apples and pears and I was able to glean literally all the fruit I could eat. This stuff tastes amazing on its own, and it makes a super-quick apple pie or cobbler – just dump a jar into a crust (or put crumble topping on it) and bake until the crust is done.
Measurements are approximate – use any combinations, substitutions, or omissions, though I recommend keeping the pears to no more than 1/3 the volume of fruit so it retains some “bite.”
- 4 parts apples, chopped in 1″ cubes (peels on or off). Some combination of sweet/tart/firm/juicy is a good idea.
- 1 part pears, chopped in 1″ cubes (peels on or off)
- A handful of chopped crystallized ginger
- A handful of dried cherries
- Dried cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and/or a hint of cloves
- Sugar and/or lemon juice to taste – depending on your fruit, it might not need any at all, or you might need a couple tablespoons per quart of fruit
Heat all ingredients until it’s juicy and the apples are cooked through.
An important word about canning this recipe:
This recipe has not been tested for safe canning. Similar apple recipes have notable differences: applesauce is much more fluid, and apple pie filling has a very liquid syrup. That’s important, because in addition to the acidity of a food, the way it moves around in the jar (i.e., water activity) has important ramifications for its safety in a water bath.
That being said, I do can this in pints (20 min in water bath). I feel comfortable with this because a) all the ingredients are high-acid (well, maybe not the ginger, but it’s preserved already by the sugar, and it’s swimming in acid ingredients) and b) it’s not that much thicker than a super-chunky applesauce. HOWEVER – can this at your own risk. You can freeze this recipe with no worries at all.