1 cup caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 kilograms Braeburn apples
500 grams Packham pears
½ cup large green raisins
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
Combine the sugar, lemon and orange zest in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and add to the bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the zest and vanilla seeds into the sugar to infuse.
Peel, quarter and core the apples and pears and toss through the sugar. Tip into a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the raisins, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Combine and cook over a very low heat, stirring occasionally. A simmer mat is ideal for low, slow cooking. Continue to cook very slowly for about 3 hours, during which time the juices released from the fruit will reduce to a beautifully thick syrup and most of the fruit will maintain its shape. Only stir if needed to stop it catching on the base of the saucepan. This won’t happen if a simmer mat is used and the heat is very low.
To serve: Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream, crème fraîche, mascarpone or thick yoghurt. A crisp biscuit would also be a nice accompaniment. Makes about 4 cups
Cook's Tip: The confit is also delicious served with a crunchy granola and yoghurt for breakfast.