Apple and pear spread (unsweetened)

apple and pear spread
Apple and pear spread
Makes about 500-600ml (2 cups)

4 medium apples
4 medium pears
juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp vanilla extract

Peel, core and chop the fruit roughly. Put in a pan with a little water. Cover, and simmer gently until it is very pulpy. 

Cool for half an hour or so, then blend - with a stick blender if possible. Add the lemon juice, spices and extract, then simmer, stirring, until thick. Cool and keep the spread in covered containers in the fridge or freezer. It will keep for about a week or more in the fridge, several months in the freezer. 

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This is a good alternative to jam, for spreading on bread or toast. Even if you use fairly tart apples such as Granny Smith, the sweetness of the pears counteract this, and the cinnamon provides sufficient taste that the lack of added sweetener is not obvious. You can experiment with different spices if you wish.

Note too that the quantities of fruit are approximate - use more or fewer as you wish.

However, since there is nothing to preserve this spread, it will not keep very long at room temperature, and only for about a week in the fridge.  I tend to decant it into small plastic containers, as in the photo above, each holding about 200ml, and freeze them until needed.

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