This savory thyme pear apple butter is so simple to make, bursting with fall flavors and pairs deliciously with everything from a dinner roast to an appetizer spread.
*This post is sponsored by Crunchmaster, a 2017 partner of Running to the Kitchen. All content and opinions are my own.
Living in apple country this time of year is equal parts nightmare and fortuitous (see my Guide To Apples for all the info you need for apple picking!)
We have all these amazing farms, cider donuts and fresh apple cider and yet if you try and go to any of them on weekend, they’re completely overrun by what Ulysses and I have coined “citidiots” (city + idiot).
A “citidiot” is anyone from the 5 boroughs, driving a car (usually with one of those rubber bumper flap things that attaches to the trunk or a bumper with so many scratches and dings it’s past the point of rubber flap help) at a speed at least 10 miles under the speed limit (these suburban roads are just SO hard to navigate) with their brights on at all times if after sunset, sometimes even before.
They takeover every apple orchard within a 65 mile radius from NYC this time of year, make the line for cider donuts so long the intoxicating fried dough smell no longer becomes worth it and in turn ruin any chance of us suburbanites enjoying the farms we literally live among.
I’ve learned my lesson with all this in years past and no longer even attempt the whole apple orchard experience this time of year, at least on weekends for fear I may end up in jail given my patience level (read: non-existent).
So, while that may have seemed like the logical #NewBeginning for this month’s adventure with Crunchmaster, I opted instead for a more peaceful experience at a nearby favorite farm I definitely don’t take advantage of enough.
A farm completely devoid of apple trees and therefore citidiots but with plenty of cows, goats, pigs and chickens.
Sprout Creek Farm is literally less than 10 minutes from my house. I pass it every single time I drive to one of the rental properties we own nearby and yet, at best, I maybe stop by 2-3 times a year.
They make the best cheeses, always have a few cuts of farm raised beef and pork for sale and as I happily learned on this last visit, finally have plans to turn their small market into more of a farm country store kind of vibe which I’m beyond excited for. It’s the perfect spot to highlight their products along with so many other awesome consumables from the Hudson Valley region.
I usually grab some of their goat cheese but this time, with this charcuterie spread in mind and knowing I was going to be making this pear apple butter (with store bought local pears and apples, not orchard picked ones for the aforementioned reasons), I went for one of the harder goat’s milk cheeses named Madeleine.
Madeleine is made with raw goat’s milk and tastes a bit like a sharp parmesan/pecorino type of cheese.
It didn’t disappoint. The crispy cracker bottom with a touch of salt, the sharp cheese and then the slightly sweet and savory pear apple butter is quite possibly the most perfect fall bite.
Although, the farm made uncured salami wasn’t a bad addition either.
The pear apple butter is a fun one. You might be thrown off when you see garam masala in the ingredient list but don’t be.
It’s just enough to make it slightly savory in that you could easily serve this with a pork roast for dinner and think it was made just for that. On the other hand, you could eat it cold in a bowl as dessert (I did that multiple times with this batch) and be completely unaware it was ever meant as anything but that.
It swings both ways if you will.
The citidiots may have kept me from my idyllic fall apple picking experience but this pear apple butter and fall spread is definitely not too shabby of a runner up.
Love this pear apple butter recipe?
- 2 pounds pears, peeled, cored and chopped (I used a Red Bartlett variety)
- 1 pound apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used Ginger Gold)
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- about 5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stems
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently until apples and pears break down, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth (you can also use an immersion blender in the pot if you'd like).
- Pour the mixture back into the pot and continue cooking on low heat, stirring frequently until reduced and thickened, about 20-30 additional minutes . You want a consistency thicker than applesauce. When you can make a streak in the pot with your spatula and can see the bottom for a second before the mixture spreads back over it, you've got it.
- Remove from heat and let cool. It will thicken up a bit more as it cools.
- Serve with a spread of crackers, cheeses and charcuterie or use alongside a dinner roast (this would be great with pork!). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.