I opened my front door last Sunday morning to discover a fabulous gift on the porch: two bags brimming with fresh picked fruit from a neighbor’s backyard orchard. One contained a mix of ripe Golden Delicious and Winesap apples; the other, fragrant Comice pears. To say I was delighted was an understatement!
I lugged the bags into the kitchen, and poured the bounty on my countertop.
Processing so much fruit would have been overwhelming, but for a recipe I stumbled upon for Baked Applesauce. Instead of peeling everything, which is very time-consuming, the fruit is halved, cored, and baked in the oven with skins intact. A few sprigs of fresh thyme laid on top add a lovely herbal note.
Roasting concentrates the natural sugar in the fruit which gives the finished sauce incredible flavor without adding extra sweetener! The apple peels actually slide right off, leaving only the flesh, but the pear skins will need a little extra coaxing with a paring knife.
The combination of apples and pears in this sauce is truly delicious and soul-satisfying!
ROASTED APPLE-PEAR SAUCE
*modified from The Santa Monica Farmers Market Cookbook
- Apples (baking varieties like Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and Braeburn are all delicious).
- Pears (Anjou, Bartlett, Comice, and Star Crimson are good choices).
- Thyme sprigs
- Bourbon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375. Cut fruit in half and remove core. Place the halves, cut side down in a single layer, on shallow foil-lined baking pans. Scatter a few thyme sprigs on top of the fruit in each pan.
- Bake the fruit on the center oven rack until tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. Discard the thyme. Slide the peels off, scraping any remaining pulp into the pan. Compost the peels.
- Spoon the roasted pulp into a large bowl and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency (we like ours a little chunky).
- Mix in bourbon vanilla (1 tsp. at a time) and cinnamon to taste.
Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled. This sauce is delicious on its own or spooned over yogurt & granola.