Ever since making that brown sugar applesauce a few weeks ago, I’ve been applesauce crazy! After making a few more batches of applesauce, including one that’s unsweetened but still totally delicious, I decided it was time to branch out into some other fruits. Pear sauce seemed like an easy leap from applesauce, and this ginger vanilla pear sauce recipe turned out great!
Peeling and Cooking the Pears
The most time-consuming part about making these sauces is peeling all of the fruit, but I hope you won’t let that stop you! As you can see in the photo below, you don’t have to be super thorough when you’re doing your peeling. Those bits of remaining peel won’t hurt the sauce one bit!
Pears don’t seem to cook down as well as apples do, so the resulting sauce ends up a little bit chunkier. I like my fruit sauces on the smoother side, so I used my immersion blender to blend it up a bit, while still leaving in some of the chunks for texture. You can blend or not blend – this is all personal choice!
I have tried making applesauce without peeling the apples and it’s…fine. If you hate, hate, hate peeling, you can skip it, but the peels will not break down much in the crock pot, so the texture is a little bit different.
Preparing the Vanilla Bean
This recipe uses a fresh vanilla bean, but if you can’t find one – or an affordable one – in the store, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for the bean. It won’t have exactly the same flavor, but in a pinch, it will work just fine.
To prepare a vanilla bean for your sauce, you need to split it open. The goods are all inside that tough outer pod. What you want to do is carefully slice it in half longways, so you’re left with two long, skinny pieces of vanilla bean. I like to use a cheese knife to scrape out the innards, but you can also use a small spoon.
Vanilla beans are very sticky, so make sure you get all of the goods off of the spoon before you stick it in the sink. I used a piece of pear right out of the crock pot to sop up every bit of vanilla from that knife!
Ginger Vanilla Pear Sauce
Yield: 3 scant pints
- 14 pears, peeled, cored, and diced into 1″ pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean
- Toss the pear, ginger, and water in your crock pot.
- Grab your vanilla bean, and use your knife to slice it lengthwise. With a tiny spoon or a cheese knife, scrape out the innards from the pod into the crock pot, and stir everything up well.
- Cook on high for 3 hours.
- Optional: If you like your pear sauce a little bit smoother, use your immersion blender to blend all or part of the resulting sauce up a bit.