Apple Pie for Breakfast?

September 29, 2011

Organic Bartlett pear tree on O’Dells Farm

Apple and Pear Picking in Julian

This past weekend we drove up to Julian, CA with some friends to go apple and pear picking.  We visited Raven Hill orchards, and O’Dell’s Organic Pear Farm.  A Certified Organic Pear Orchard, O’Dells has Red & Green Bartlett, Bosc and DeAnjou pears, and they also have organic goats milk feta cheese.

The Bartlett pears at O’Dells were ready for picking, so we filled up 2 bags (and ate a couple along the way too).  We found one that was the perfect ripeness that

was perched on a branch, so we snacked on it right from the tree (it’s organic, why not?).  It was so perfectly ripe that the juice dripped down on the ground as I was eating it!

Then we popped down to Raven Hill orchard, where I fell in love with their Empire apples, they were the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and had the perfect firmness. We filled 2 bags there with some golden delicious and plenty of those amazing Empire apples.

Each day we have been snacking on these wonderful apples, and waiting for our pears to ripen.  Then last night I decided that I was going to make some apple/pear butter.  As it was cooking, it filled the house with the smell of warm cinnamon.

This morning I toasted some Ezekiel organic sprouted whole grain bread, added a little organic butter,

Walking around Raven Hill orchard.

and then spread on the Apple Pear Butter. So okay, I really didn’t actually have apple pie for breakfast, but it sure tasted like it!!  In retrospect, I think I should have made a bigger batch, as I have a feeling that I am going to need to make some more very soon.  So keep that in mind when making this recipe, you might want to double it.  It makes a great hostess gift too!

It is very easy to make apple butter, give it a try.  Notice, there is no butter in apple butter, according to

Wikipedia,  “the term butter refers only to the thick, soft consistency, and apple butter’s use as a spread for breads.”

Apple Pear Butter:


  • Firm apples, or a mixture of apples and pears (about 10 small apples <or> 7 small apples & 3 pears)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup natural sweetener* (such as maple syrup, organic raw agave, coconut palm sugar)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon (or more – to taste)
  • pinch of ground cloves (or more – to taste)
  • pinch of nutmeg to taste (or more – to taste)
  • Big pinch of high quality sea salt (I like Sal De Mar, or Pink Himalayan salt)
  • fresh squeezed juice from 1/4 of a lemon

*Some people might prefer it less or more sweet – taste and adjust to your preference.  You could also use a combination of natural sweetener and some stevia if you want a lower glycemic version.


  1. Wash, core, peel and cut your fruit into chunks.  I washed 3 large Bartlett pears, about 3 small golden delicious, and about 7 small Empire apples, I removed most of the peels, cored them, and cut them into chunks.
  2. Put them into a medium sized saucepan and cover with about 1 cup of water – just enough to cover most of the fruit (some fruit will probably be only partially covered, as it cooks down, it will soften and shrink, don’t add too much water or it will be runny).  Squeeze in lemon, sprinkle in cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg.  Add the spices to your taste – you can always add more later.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.  Simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. The apples should be fork-tender, with most of the liquid gone.  Mash the fruit with a potato masher, immersion blender, or put them into a food processor or your Baby Bullet.  I left a few chunks in mine, but if you prefer, you can make yours really smooth.
  4. Add in the sweetener, pinch of salt, and you can add more of spices if you like.  Bring back to a simmer and simmer until it is thickened and coats the back of the spoon, approx. 30 minutes.  Make sure to keep an eye on it and stir it occasionally, so it does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Put into an airtight container, and it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks (but don’t count on it lasting that long)!
  6. Serve on toast or whatever you choose.

Here is another fun & easy apple recipe to try –

Apple Chips! 


  • 2 apples (Empire from Raven Hill orchard, or organic preferred)
  • 2 Tablespoons Raw Natures Agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

  1. Put the agave nectar, lemon, and cinnamon in a small bowl, stir to combine.  Set aside.
  2. Wash and core the apples. Slice using a mandoline (if kids are involved, make sure they wear an oven mitt to protect their hands.)
  3. Place the apple slices on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to not overlap.
  4. Brush the apples with the agave and cinnamon.
  5. Put into 250 degree oven for about 1 hour.
  6. Take out, and serve!  If the apples are not crisp when they come out – they will likely crisp up as they cool.  If they do not, you can put them back in the oven for a little while.

As seen on Fox 5 San Diego.

Happy apple-picking and eating!!

Find a full listing of U Pick orchards up in Julian.  U Pick season is generally through the month of September, with some open in October.

A special thanks to Patrick Brady of Raven Hill Orchards for supplying the apples for the Fox 5 segment, and to Kathy S. for inviting us on this wonderful family excursion to Julian!!  Next year – we are bringing the Girl Scout troop!

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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