There are times when it’s best not to mess with tradition. When it comes to our Family Crockpot Applesauce Recipe (care of my mother-in-law), that is typically a good rule to follow. My husband and his brother grew up begging their mum for another batch (and another) of her easy, homemade applesauce. Laced with cinnamon and a touch of sugar, it is a “must make” as soon as fall hits. So, why am I breaking tradition and changing the recipe? Well, it all has to do with the Charlie Brown pear tree in our backyard.
If a tree can be inspiring, then this little pear tree would fit right at the top of that category. When we moved into our house 10 years ago, we were thrilled to find the pear tree in our side yard. We imagined that, over the years, it would grow to be a mainstay in our garden, providing shade on hot summer days and delighting us with springtime blossoms. In those 10 years, however, it grew no more than a couple of feet taller. But it didn’t know that. It acts like a tree that is 15 feet high and wide, producing a large crop of pears every year. As you can see in the photo above, the pears weigh down the tree, threatening to snap the very branches that hold them. My husband fashioned a support system and the tree does not seem deterred in the least. It is truly the little tree that could.
The pears are always good eaten straight, but we like to toss them into coffee cakes and crisps as well. This pear applesauce is livened up with a bit of grated gingerroot.
The pear tree is only one of the reasons I enjoy spending time in our yard in the autumn. The rich oranges and yellows of dahlias and black-eyed Susans burst from the pots and beds as the leaves make their gradual change from green to gold. The picture below shows one of my favorite spots in the backyard, complete with a wooden wheelbarrow made by my father-in-law and pots planted by my mum.
Place all of the apple and pear pieces in a large bowl and stir in sugar, ground cinnamon and grated ginger.
Pour water or apple juice into the bottom of a large crockpot (slow cooker) and add the apple mixture.
Cover, turn the crockpot setting to Low, and cook for about 8 hours (or on High for 5 hours), stirring occasionally and breaking up the apple and pear slices with a wooden spoon as they soften.
Serve warm or room temperature.
Other recipes with pears:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Turkey, Brie, Pear & Cherry Chipotle Panini
Cookin’ Canuck’s Spiced Pear Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar & Oat Streusel
A Spicy Perspective’s Broiled Pear & Prosciutto Toasts
The Novice Chef’s Vertical Pear Salad
Sweet Peas Kitchen’s Pear & Gorgonzola Cheese Turnovers
- 5 medium-sized Gala apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
- 5 medium-sized Bartlett pears, cored, quartered, and sliced
- 3 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- ¼ cup water or apple juice
- Place all of the apple and pear pieces in a large bowl and stir in sugar, ground cinnamon and grated ginger.
- Pour water or apple juice into the bottom of a large crockpot (slow cooker) and add the apple mixture.
- Cover, turn the crockpot setting to Low, and cook for about 8 hours (or on High for 5 hours), stirring occasionally and breaking up the apple and pear slices with a wooden spoon as they soften.
- Serve warm or room temperature.