Cut out the cores and stems from your pears, leaving the skins on, cut them into cubes and toss them into a slow cooker with about 1/4 cup of water.
Bring the mixture up to a simmer
, then leave it on the slow-cook setting for an hour or so, until the fruit is soft enough to mash
with a spatula
. With pears alone this will take little time, but quince are tougher customers.
Once the fruit is soft, puree it with an immersion blender
. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, brown if you like, plus some spices: 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half; 1 star anise
pod; 1/4 tsp ground ginger
; a couple of cloves.
Leave it on the slow-cook setting for several hours. If you start this the night before, it'll be ready for your morning oatmeal
. (Remove the whole spices