No one gets very excited when you say “apple sauce”–well no one except, maybe, people who just had their wisdom teeth out–but throw the word “pear” in there and the word “roasted” and you start to whet people’s appetites. My appetite was certainly whet when I saw this recipe in The Barefoot Contessa’s newest book, “How Easy Is That?” (When my friends Patty and Lauren saw the book title, they burst out laughing, because they recognized it as one of Ina’s favorite things to say.) To make the sauce, all you need is what you see above in my attempt at a still life, plus some brown sugar and a little butter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and begin by zesting and juicing two large naval oranges and one lemon into a large pot (Ina recommends a “non-reactive Dutch oven such as Le Creuset.”)
Into that same pot, add 3 pounds of sweet red apples (such as Macoun or Empire) that you’ve peeled, quartered and cored and the same with 3 pounds of ripe Bosc pears. [Note, I halved the recipe which is why you see half that amount.] Toss them in the juice.
Add 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed, 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (unless, like me, you’re halving the recipe in which case add half that amount):
Cover the pot, pop it in the oven and bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until everything’s very tender. Your house or apartment will take on such a terrific smell, you will slip into an autumnal coma, visions of falling leaves dancing around you, until the fire department wakes you up and tells you your apple pear sauce is ready to go.
All you have to do, then, is whisk it until it’s smoothish but still a little chunky.
It almost makes you wish you could have your wisdom teeth out all over again, just so you could eat this as a meal. As it stands, it makes a wonderful accompaniment to pork and also tastes great mixed in with yogurt for breakfast. How easy is that?