In the fall, you'll find fresh pears and apples in abundance at local farmer's markets. Pears lend an uplifting, floral sweetness to applesauce. Together, apples and pears, blend beautifully to make a wholesome, easy dessert that needs no additional sweetener.
What is it?
Applesauce is a sauce made by cooking down apples with a small amount of liquid until completely softened. To make this version, you'll combine both pears and apples together to make the sauce.
Pears have a soft floral sweetness that balances the acidity of apples, and they work well together. Adding apple cider amplifies the flavor and adds a little sweetness, thus eliminating the need to add an additional sweetener such as sugar or maple syrup.
Making applesauce is straightforward, simple, and you only need a single pot. Since it is such a simple recipe to make, you'll need to pay particular attention to your ingredients and technique so that it comes out just the way you want. So, keep these tips in mind.
- All apple and pear varieties work for sauce, but some work better than others. Apples and pears that have soft flesh and breakdown easily work well. McIntosh and Golden Delicious are good choices for apples, while Bartlett is a good choice for pear.
- Choose apple cider rather than apple juice or water. Apple cider provides both a punch of apple flavor and a little liquid that allows the fruit to soften. Raw, unfiltered apple cider is the best choice for this as it retains the strongest and most complex flavor.
- Brandy gives a punch of flavor, but you can swap it for more apple cider.
- The lightest touch of apple cider vinegar lends a little acidity, but a squeeze of lemon does just fine, too.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce to a smooth consistency. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can mash it with a potato masher. Or, if you only have an upright blender, puree the sauce in batches, taking care to fill the blender only one-third full with each batch.
Pear Applesauce Recipe
- 2 ½ pounds apples (peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped)
- 2 pounds pears (peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped)
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Toss the apples and pears into a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, and then pour in the apple cider, brandy, and vinegar. Cover the pot and cook the fruit over medium-high heat until completely soft, and then purée the sauce with an immersion blender.
- Adjust the consistency of the sauce with additional apple cider as needed. Serve right away or store up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Try it in an Instant Pot. To pressure cook the sauce, add all ingredients to an electric pressure cooker. Then, pressure cook for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, and purée until smooth.
Add spices. Sweet warming spices such as cardamom, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon work well for pear applesauce. Vanilla also complements the sauce nicely because it partners well with the floral notes in pears.
Serve the sauce with butter or cream. The fat in butter and cream help to increase satiety, and they also lend a gorgeous creaminess to the applesauce.