Spiced apple and pear caramel with hazelnuts

Celebrate the picking season with a dessert that spices up favourite fruits with caramel and...

Celebrate the picking season with a dessert that spices up favourite fruits with caramel and hazelnuts. (QMI Agency/TVA Publications)

, Last Updated: 4:39 PM ET

Is there a flavour more associated with September than apple? Celebrate the picking season with a dessert that spices up the favourite fruit with caramel and hazelnuts.

Spiced Apple and Pear Caramel with Hazelnuts

Prep time: 30 minutes

Inactive prep time: 2 hours

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

2/3 cup (150 ml) hazelnuts

About 1 1/2 lbs. (750 g) Royal Gala apples

About 1 1/2 lbs. (750 g) Bartlett pears

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) ground cloves

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) ground ginger

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) ground Jamaican pepper

4 Tbsp. (60 ml) lemon juice

2 cups (500 ml) brown sugar

1 cup (250 ml) granular sugar

2/3 cup (150 ml) dulce de leche

Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Spread nuts on a baking sheet. Grill in the middle of oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the nuts are slightly browned and release a noticeable aroma. Be careful not to burn nuts. Place nuts on a cloth and use it to gently rub off the skins. Allow to cool completely before cutting the nuts into two or four pieces, depending on the size. Reserve.

Put four or five saucers in the freezer before preparing caramel. Peel apples and pears and cut into small cubes. Remove seeds from apples; put them in a small spice bag and reserve. Put fruit into a bowl. Sprinkle on the spices and moisten with lemon juice. Mix well. In a large pan, alternate the fruit, brown sugar and granular sugar in successive layers. Cover and let sit at room temperature for two hours.

Remove cover and put pan on element over high heat. Add reserved apple seeds and allow to boil while mixing gently. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until a small quantity of boiling liquid doesn’t spread out 30 seconds after being placed in chilled saucer. Continue to mix while cooking.

Remove from heat, add dulce de leche and reserved nuts. Mix well and transfer immediately to four sterilized and heated jars with a capacity of 1 cup (250 ml) each, then cover with sterilized lids. Allow to cool completely before putting in fridge. Conserve in fridge.

Makes four 1 cup (250 ml) portions.

Source: QMI Agency/TVA Publications

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