Apple-Pear Sauce in 3 Easy Steps

As I settle into the Midwest’s predictable winter rhythm of chilly weather, heavy gray skies, and long dark nights, the kitchen calls to me with a different voice this time of year. I find myself drawn to warmer, heartier dishes flavored with fragrant spices and nutrient-rich broths. My heavy Dutch oven gets pulled out of the cabinet on almost a daily basis as I prepare warming soups, stews, and sauces like this one comprised of subtly spiced apples and pears.

Nothing says winter like a bowl of piping hot stewed fruit. And would you believe that homemade fruit sauce takes just about a half hour to come together? I promise you that after you get into the habit of making your own applesauce, store-bought simply won’t hold a candle to what comes out of your kitchen!

Because apples and pears are great storage fruits (meaning that they keep for several weeks in the refrigerator), it’s easy to keep all of the ingredients you’ll need on hand for this so that you can make it whenever the craving strikes.

Aside from eating it straight up in a bowl with a few walnuts on top for a snack, I savor this apple-pear sauce in a few other ways, too:

  • Spread on top of the whole grain gluten-free pancakes from my cookbook
  • Mixed into muffin and cake batters for extra fruity flavor
  • Served hot as a chunky sauce for roasted chicken or turkey
  • As a spread/condiment for these gluten- and sugar-free Banana Chai Muffins

Because apples and pears are relatively inexpensive fruits, turning them into sauce is a creative way to stretch your dollar when it comes to eating fresh produce. Divide the sauce into small glass containers to keep handy in your refrigerator for packing into school/work lunches.

What is your favorite way to enjoy winter’s abundance of delicious fruits? Share your ideas in the comments!

Apple-Pear Sauce in 3 Easy Steps
Makes 5-6 cups

2 pounds apples, such as a mix of Gala and Braeburn, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 pounds pears, any variety, peeled, cored, and chopped
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Bring all ingredients to boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the fruit is soft and breaking apart, about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Remove the pot from heat. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Use a potato masher or pastry cutter to mash the sauce to your desired consistency. (For very smooth sauce, puree the cooked fruit in a blender or food processor. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
  3. Cool the sauce completely before storing in the refrigerator. (Can be refrigerated for 4-5 days.)

Hallie Klecker is the author of The Pure Kitchen, a gluten- and dairy-free cookbook with over 100 healthful recipes. She also writes the recipe blog Daily Bites, where she shares her passion for cooking with whole, natural foods. Hallie is a certified Nutrition Educator and former personal chef.

17 Responses to Apple-Pear Sauce in 3 Easy Steps

  • Ricki says:

    This sounds sooooo good, Hallie! I bet the combination of pear and apple would be so lovely. And you’re right, once you make your own applesauce, there really is no comparison. :)

    [Reply]

    Hallie Reply:

    @Ricki, Thanks, Ricki! Sometimes I buy applesauce in a pinch if I don’t have time to make it, but it’s always with regret when I know how delicious the homemade version tastes!

    [Reply]

  • Vicky says:

    I’ve just made apple sauce!!! Thank you for reminding me to make it with pears as well and I love the spices you’ve put in the recipe.

    [Reply]

    Hallie Reply:

    @Vicky, Pears are an easy one to forget about for me, too, Vicki. I love pairing them with apples in recipes like this sauce, sauteed and spooned over cakes and desserts, and of course eaten cold sprinkled with cinnamon for a snack. :)

    [Reply]

  • Maggie says:

    Mmmm, I think my kids would love this. Two of their favorite fruits and I can still get both of them locally! Thanks Hallie.

    [Reply]

    Hallie Reply:

    @Maggie, Applesauce was always a favorite of mine when I was a kid. It still is to this day! Some things never change…

    [Reply]

  • Kim says:

    Hallie,
    It must be a midwestern thing, but I just made apple-pear sauce this week, too! My son had 6 servings at dinner! I added cinnamon, but not ginger. I’ll give that a try next time.

    [Reply]

    Hallie Reply:

    @Kim, Yep. Cold weather calls for warm bowls of stewed fruit! :)

    [Reply]

  • Elizabeth King says:

    I make my own applesauce but have never used pears before. Will give them a try. I usually do mine in the microwave without added water & it comes out great. I don’t add ginger but will also try that. I will try your recipe in the microwave & see how it turns out. It takes only about 10 minutes to cook.

    [Reply]

    Hallie Reply:

    @Elizabeth King, Hope you enjoy! :)

    [Reply]

  • I get a ton of apples and pears in the fall from my CSA share and I make apple/pear sauce with many variations (cranberries are a good addition). For some reason, I never think to top pancakes with applesauce, but it sounds good. Guess I’m too much of a syrup lover! =) I do like cooking with homemade applesauce though. It adds such nice moisture and sweetness to baked goods. Love your idea of ginger!

    [Reply]

    Hallie Reply:

    @Melissa @ Gluten Free For Good, Cranberries in applesauce sound fabulous! I have stockpiled some in the freezer from over the holidays. I’ll definitely try that soon. :)

    [Reply]

  • Kim Maes says:

    Ooh. Hallie, i make applesauce all of the time around here (and even have added pumpkin to it as well), but I do not normally add pears. That sounds like a great addition. I like the idea of adding the ginger as well. I normally add cinnamon and vanilla to mine. I will give this one a try next time for sure! :D

    [Reply]

  • Tess Masters says:

    I made a batch of this and it was absolutely delicious!
    Thanks for sharing. So thrilled to be on this journey with you.

    [Reply]

    Hallie Reply:

    @Tess Masters, Yay! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

    [Reply]

  • Tina KALVELAGE says:

    Can you make a peach sauce (without apples or pears)?

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer says:

    Just found your site. This looks great. I think I will continue to cook it down to a butter as I am low on butters. Thanks for posting.

    [Reply]

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