Apple Pear Sauce

Apple-Pear Sauce

As a devoted home canner, I sometimes get swept up in the idea that the more I do or add to a batch of preserves, the better. Recently though, I was reminded that the simple approach is often the most delicious (and it’s always the easiest, to boot).

Over the course of a recent week, I found myself the recipient of nearly 12 pounds of apples and pears. The apples were leftover from a friend’s CSA share pick-up and the pears were a gift from a lovely couple that took a class with me.

Apples and Pears

I spent a couple of days enjoying seeing the bounty of autumn fruit on my dining room table before determining that it was time to preserve. I contemplated a number of different recipes before deciding that at least half of the fruit was destined for a batch of sauce.

Still, I thought that I was going to make a complex, highly spiced sauce. I peeled, cored, and diced half of the apples and pears, and heaped them into a Dutch oven with the juice from one orange and two lemons. I added an additional drizzle of water to ensure that they wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. I put a lid on the pot and turned the heat to medium low.

Chopped Apples and Pears

I let the fruit soften for the better part of an hour, stirring occasionally when the thought occurred. Then, because the hour was quite late when the sauce was nicely textured, I simply put the lid on and slid the pan off the burner, promising myself that I would add spices and sweeteners in the morning.

Only, the next morning, when I went to taste the sauce, I realized that it didn’t need a single thing. The apples gave it plenty of sweetness, while the pears added a pleasantly grainy texture. The small amount of orange and lemon juice I’d included offered the necessary tang. It was perfect just as it was.

I brought the sauce back up to a boil and canned it in pint jars (city living means that I have a comically small refrigerator. Unless something is destined to be eaten in the immediate future, I try to make it shelf stable). Simple, delicious, and only processed in my kitchen and by my own hands. Just the thing for October Unprocessed!

Finished Apple-Pear Sauce

4.84 from 6 votes

Apple Pear Sauce

The apples gave it plenty of sweetness, while the pears added a pleasantly grainy texture.

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 198 kcal
Author Marisa McClellan


  • 3 pounds apples
  • 3 pounds pears
  • 1 small orange juiced
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1/4 cup water


To make the Apple Pear Sauce, which can be refrigerated for up to two weeks:

  1. Peel, core, and diced the apples and pears. Place them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, and water. Set the pot on the stove over medium-low heat.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, or until you can mash the fruit with the back of a spoon. When the sauce is done, use a potato masher to break up any remaining pieces. If you prefer a smoother texture, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.

If you prefer to can it for shelf stability, follow the instructions below:

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and five pint jars.
  2. Funnel apple pear sauce into the prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes (if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation, adjust your processing time accordingly).
  3. When time is up, slide canning pot off the heat and remove the lid. Let the jars cool slowly in the pot for ten minutes. When the cooling time is up, remove the jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
  4. When the jars are cool enough to handle, remove the rings and test the seals. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten within two weeks.


About the Author

Preserving by the PintMarisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated farmers market shopper who lives in Center City, Philadelphia. She is the author of the popular books Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round and Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces. Find more of her jams, pickles, and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at, and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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September 23, 2018 2:46 pm

5 stars
I made this recipe this morning, and my dad stepmom and I all really loved it!! I canned it for later and to give to a couple of friends n my niece and I truly hope that they will enjoy it as much as we did!! Thanks for a very enjoyable recipe!!

November 13, 2014 6:20 pm

I’m making my second batch of this. So good! So easy. Can whip it up in an evening after work. I mix up the varieties of apples. Has been a good solution for the inundation of CSA apples and pears! Thank you.

October 30, 2014 7:12 pm

So excited to find a recipe that doesn’t call for sugar! I had suspected that it’s not needed, but I’m happy to hear someone else had been successful before I got started.

Mary Platis
October 14, 2014 10:26 am

Never thought of adding pear, what a nice idea! I’ve been making apple butter for years for my family and friends. Making canning a simple project is the key to learning this skill-thank-you!

October 13, 2014 8:13 am

I love your idea of the oranges and lemons! I never peel my apples or pears when making sauce, and also do not add anything except a hint of cinnamon. (I definitely use an immersion blender though.) Ambrosia.

October 11, 2014 8:27 pm

What kind of apples did you use?

October 12, 2014 3:56 pm
Reply to  Kathy

I have no idea what kind of apples I used. They were extras from a friend.

October 11, 2014 1:45 pm

I just made this. Very delicious. I only got three pints. Will double next time for a full pressure cooker. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Amy Schmelzer
Amy Schmelzer
October 11, 2014 10:07 am

I picked pears two weeks ago and set them in my basement. Today I went through and moved them to my fridge because they were getting soft. I am a procrastinator by nature and that usually means I want to do something else like go apple picking and make applesauce instead of deal with the pears. If I do go apple picking today instead of processing the pears, then I could make this sauce. It would kill two birds with one stone. An apple-pear sauce would be a nice addition to my already full shelf of applesauces.

Debbie T
October 11, 2014 10:03 am

Just what I needed! I’m a big fan of your books and recipes, and I will definitely try this one. I like simple!

October 11, 2014 7:26 am

I’ve always wanted to learn how to can but have been afraid I would end up making someone sick. This seems so simple. I might just have to try it.

October 11, 2014 7:28 pm
Reply to  Joan

A friend who I introduced to canning this year told me that she wishes she started with applesauce because it’s not as complex as pickles or salsa…go for it!!

October 12, 2014 3:55 pm
Reply to  Joan

It’s impossible to make anyone sick with high acid preserves!