So, my internet requests on freecycle finally paid off. Someone contacted me that had two boxes of pears and about 75 canning jars. Woo!
And, over the weekend Tom Thumb had apples for 88 cents per pound. So, I bought about 26 pounds. I picked up the pears on Monday afternoon and took them straight to my Aunt’s house, along with my canner, jars, the apples, cookbooks…. I had a full car!
It was all really good. The only bad part is we didn’t even get started in earnest until 5pm.
Round 1, three quarts of apple pie filling. Round two was 12 pints of applesauce. Round three was six pints of apple/pear butter and one pint of apple slices. Round four was eight half pints of ginger pear preserves. Round five was me going home and going to bed since it was 4am!
The thing was, there was still an entire box of pears left. Oh my!
Since these were nice, from the tree, home grown pears (and probably organic) they were seriously tough to peel. Wow. My knuckles were swollen from holding the peeler by the end of the night. I went to bed with an ice pack wrapped around my hand! But, my Aunt and I both agreed that while it was hard work, it was fun to be together and you really can’t beat free pears.
My Aunt is planning to use the remainder to can sliced pears, make carrot cake jam, some autumn fruit conserve or something and one other thing which I can’t remember at the moment. Robert doesn’t like pears so much and she and my Uncle really like them, so I was willing to leave the extra box in exchange for her help on the apples and such.
After all of that canning and being up til 4 am, yesterday got kind of wasted. I slept until noon. Got up, used a few pears to make some Pear Pecan bread (adapted from my Apple Walnut Bread recipe), took a shower and then headed out to a Stampin’ Up gathering at my friend Correna’s house.
Yummy Apple Walnut Bread (from Seventeen Magazine sometime in the early 90s…seriously!).
- 1/4 cup butter or shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 cups chopped apples
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and egg. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture then add fruit and nuts. Spread batter into pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
My Notes: For this batch, I used pears (shredded, not chopped, and liquid gently squeezed out) and pecans since that is what I had on hand. I omitted the cinnamon and nutmeg and used ground ginger. Delicious! I am pretty confident you could use applesauce (or pear puree or whatever), pumpkin or any other fruit or veggie that bakes well. Zucchini, of course. You can adapt the spices for whatever flavor you are looking for. Flaked coconut would probably be good too, but the bread wouldn’t be nearly as moist.
When baking, because of the moistness of the apples/pears/whatever I always have to bake this up to 15 minutes longer than the recipe suggests.
I am guessing this would make good muffins as well, you would just have to adjust the baking time. Enjoy!