My beloved band of readers will remember our jaunt into the highlands of southern Virginia to pick apples. After gorging on apples, and pears and cider, oh my, until we were almost sick (That's an awful lot of excess fiber, folks!), we slowed our consumption. Whew! All the while the apples and pears were getting older and lost that crispy freshness that made them, in a word, irresistible.
I was on the verge of committing mass fruit carnage when its salvation came in the form of my mother. All hail the Mama Supreme!
She lifted a card that my sweet Maggie made that was covering the few apples that were left on a tiered display on my kitchen counter and said, "Oh, are these apples from you trip to VA?"
I was so embarrassed at still having the aging harvest sitting around for her perusal but said, "Yeah (I've gotten downright disrespectful with that "yeah" in my old age--or is it just laziness? Then again that may be disrespect in disguise? That should have been "Yes, ma'am" for all you non-southerners out there.) but I think they're too far gone now."
"No, they're perfect for making apple butter."
As we looked them over though there were a couple that really were too far gone and had to be chucked, and Mama lamented that there wouldn't be enough to make it work. Then I remembered the pears I had put in the fridge, when they looked like they might go around the bend any minute. I hopefully opened the bag of pears and found a couple very past peak, but the rest were pretty good.
Then there was much peeling and coring and cutting of fruit. Mama seasoned and I sugared--a very generous helping, indeed--all in a lovely stainless steel pot. With one cup of water added the heat was applied and applied and applied.
It bubbled and simmered and filled the house with the most incredible cinnamony, nutmeggy, clovey delightfulness. It was completely intoxicating! Who knew this could happen at my house? In my kitchen? This sort of miracle happens in my mother's kitchen all the time. But in mine? Yes, oh yes! It did! And can again. It really was quite easy. It just had to simmer 'til all the water boiled away.
The result: Apple-Pear Butter Extraordinaire--Sugar Coma Heaven!
So far I've had it on a spoon, mmmmmm! and on toast, mmmmm! It's calling for hot biscuits though. I suppose I'll have to make some soon. I can almost taste it.