This homemade Pear Sauce is filled with the flavors of fresh pears, a touch of apple, and vanilla. Adapt this sauce to suit your taste by mixing up the flavorings and making it chunky or smooth.
I’m taking a break from my favorite fall baked goods to share something that might not be on your radar, but absolutely should be. Let me introduce you to PEAR SAUCE. Like applesauce, but made with pears.
This is nothing like the watery, flavorless stuff you buy in a jar at the grocery store. Homemade applesauce/pear sauce is full of flavor and natural sweetness that the jarred stuff can’t compete with. Bonus: It couldn’t be easier. Use this recipe as a base and adjust it to suit your taste and texture preferences.
How To Make Pear Sauce:
Add the following ingredients to a saucepan and cook for about 30 minutes:
- Pears: Use your favorite variety of pears, or even a combination of several different varieties. This recipe uses 6 pears, preferably ripe but slightly firm.
- Apples: Although pears are the primary flavor, I like to add a touch of apple along with it. I use 2 apples for every 6 pears. If you’d prefer to skip the apples, you can make this with only pears.
- Water or juice: Water, apple juice or pear juice cook along with the fruit to thin out the sauce. Tip: More liquid will make the sauce thinner, less liquid will make the sauce thicker. If you accidentally add too much liquid, allow the mixture to simmer without the lid so some of the liquid can evaporate.
- Vanilla: I really enjoy the flavor of vanilla with pears, so I add half a vanilla bean right into the mixture as it cooks. This imparts a subtle vanilla flavor throughout the sauce. If you’d prefer to skip the vanilla bean you can add ¼-½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract at the end of cook time (adjust to suit your taste). Or feel free to skip the vanilla altogether for one of the flavor choices below.
Flavor options (to be added while the fruit is cooking):
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (more or less to taste)
- A few pinches of nutmeg, ginger or cardamom
- Finely grated zest of a small orange
- A handful of fresh cranberries
Tips for Enjoying Homemade Pear Sauce:
- This sauce can be served chunky or smooth. Mashing it with a potato masher will give you a chunky, compote-like sauce. Using an immersion blender will thin it out completely.
- Sweeten to taste. I do not add any extra sweeteners to this sauce, but depending on your taste preferences and how sweet your fruit is, you might want to add a touch of sugar, maple syrup or honey. I would start with 1 tablespoon and adjust from there.
- This sauce is especially delicious when it is warm. Leftovers should be refrigerated, and can be enjoyed chilled or reheated.
- Pears are the primary flavor here, but you can adjust the amount of pears and apples for a stronger apple flavor, if desired.
If you’d like to boost the nutritional value and you don’t mind the texture, you can leave about half of the pear and apple skin on the fruit.
Homemade Apple Pear Sauce
- 6 large ripe-firm pears
- 2 sweet apples, see note
- 1/3 cup water, apple juice or pear juice
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, optional (see notes)
- Peel and core the apples and pears. Chop the pears into large bite-sized chunks and cut the apples a little smaller than that (the apples will take a bit longer to cook, so the difference in size will help them finish cooking at the same time).
- Place the apples, pears, water, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Depending on how much moisture is in your fruit you might need to add more water during cook time. If it seems dry, or is sticking to the bottom, add a few tablespoons of water.
- After 25 minutes, remove the lid and allow the mixture to simmer uncovered until the fruit is tender and easily mashable. Continue to add more water, if necessary. If you accidentally add too much water, just let the mixture simmer uncovered until the extra liquid evaporates.
- Remove the vanilla bean and allow to cool slightly. Use your fingers to squeeze the remaining seeds into the applesauce, discarding the pod. Use a potato masher to mash the apples and pears into a chunky sauce, or use an immersion blender to blend it into a smooth sauce.
- Choose a sweeter variety of apple for this recipe. I like Jonagold, Cameo, Empire, Golden Delicious, Fuji, or Gala.
- If you'd prefer not to use a vanilla bean, you can stir 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste into the pear sauce after cooking.
- OTHER FLAVOR OPTIONS (to be added while the fruit is cooking): ½ teaspoon cinnamon (more or less to taste) A few pinches of nutmeg, ginger or cardamom Finely grated zest of a small orange A handful of fresh cranberries Play around with the flavorings to suit your taste.