3 recipes using Canadian fruits to try this fall

Oct 21 2016, 1:01 am

It may come as a surprise, but you can still support Canadian farmers without heading to a busy farmers market on the weekend. How, you may ask?

Simply head to your local grocery store.

For example, grocery stores in the Loblaw family, such as The Real Canadian Superstore and no frills in Alberta, carry a large selection of Canadian fruits and vegetables.

As the country’s largest purchaser of locally grown foods, Loblaw works closely with almost 300 Canadian vendors and growers to provide customers with local and fresh produce all year round. In the fall, that will include fresh pears and apples from neighbouring British Columbia.

Frank Pagliaro is the Vice President of Produce Procurement at Loblaw, and says that his company has made it a point to make finding local produce in the colder months easy for their customers.

“We work with our local producers and farmers throughout the year to ensure we have access to storage crops, like root vegetables and apples, or other crops like mushrooms that are available during the winter months. To make it easy for our customers to find local products, we have country of origin labels, some signage in stores indicating ‘Grown in Western Provinces’ and notices on local products in our flyers,” says Pagliaro.

apples mtl

Ekaterina Pokrovsky/shutterstock

Aside from the environmental and the sustainability benefits of shopping local, sourcing Canadian ingredients simply gives you a better tasting final product.

Keeping this in mind, Loblaw collaborated with Vancouver-based chef and tastemaker Jackie Kai Ellis to create three recipes using local produce that are perfect for the time of year. So along with satisfy your sweet tooth, you can support Canadian farmers and enhance your cooking too if you shop local.

“The growing season here is short, so it’s important to make the most of it. People are naturally gravitating towards fall flavours now – I just love eating with the seasons,” says Ellis.

Cardamom Apple Butter

Makes about 10 220ml jars


  • 12-13 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1” chunks. (Use sauce apples)
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Peels of 2 lemons, cut in strips and wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 375g golden brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 25 tsp allspice
  • 25 tsp cloves
  • 5 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 vanilla beans


Preheat oven to 300F.

Place all ingredients into a large, oven-safe pot and bring to boil.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the apples break down into a sauce.

Turn off the heat and place the entire pot, uncovered into the oven to cook down for about 4-5 hours, or until the applesauce is thick and dark.

Remove from the oven and blend using an immersion blender until very smooth.

Place the mixture into sterilized jars and can the jars to hold in a pantry.

Freeze as a freezer jam for up to 3 months or refrigerate and eat within 2 weeks.

Spicy Pear Pickle

Makes about 10 220ml jars

Spicy Pickled Pears

Spicy Pickled Pears


  • 14 pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/8” inch slices
  • 5 cup lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp gochu garu (Korean red pepper flake) depending on how spicy you like it
  • 2 cup daikon, small diced
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger + 10 slices
  • 3 green onion cut into 3” strips
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp peppercorn
  • 10 strips lemon peel
  • 5 cups rice vinegar
  • 1 cup mirin
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 3 cup salt
  • 5 cup sugar


Gently mix pears, gochu garu, lemon juice, daikon, sesame oil and minced ginger in a large bowl.

Place a few strips of green onion in sterilized jars and fill snugly with the pear mixture until they are about 1 to 1 ½” from the rim.

Boil the slices of ginger, garlic cloves peppercorns, lemon peel, vinegar, mirin, fish sauce, salt and sugar in a large pot until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved and the mixture is at a rolling boil.

Pour the vinegar mixture evenly into the jars so they cover the pears, making sure that one slice of ginger, one clove of garlic and one lemon peel are in each jar.

Cover the jars and refrigerate, allow ferment and eat within 2 weeks. The flavour will intensify as time passes so you can eat the pears immediately or after a week and a half to get more intensity.

Eat with Asian dishes like soba noodles, on top of fried eggs and rice, in beef and lettuce wraps or in rice bowls.

Cranberry Pear Chutney

Makes about 10 220ml jars


  • 2 tbsp cup olive oil
  • 225g shallots
  • 10g thyme sprigs, tied with twine
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 250ml balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 3kg fresh cranberries
  • 5 pears cut into ½” cubes


Add oil, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper in a large, heavy bottom pot on medium heat.

Sautee until the shallots are softened slightly.

Add the vinegar, sugar and cranberries and bring to a boil.

Cook until about ½ of the cranberries are popped and become sauce-like.

Add the pears and bring to a boil.

Place the mixture into sterilized jars and can the jars to hold in a pantry.

Freeze as a freezer jam for up to 3 months or refrigerate and eat within 2 weeks. 

Hanna McLeanHanna McLean

+ Dished