Slow Cooker Spiced Pear Sauce. This pear sauce recipe is super simple thanks to a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Just set it, forget it, then enjoy it. Don’t miss our Instant Pot directions, too! (Paleo + Vegan + Whole30)
It smelled and tasted just like fall and winter should–gently sweet with warm spices that taste like home and grandmas and safe spaces. I lost my grandma this fall and miss her so much. In the last couple of months, I’ve found myself reconnecting with her through recipes. We’ve had several of the dishes I remember eating at her house (like waffles, Mickey Mouse pancakes, cranberry salsa, and her famous chili bean star surpremes!), and I find that I’m craving anything that reminds me of her, like that lovely, perfectly spiced pear jam.
I don’t make my own jam (yet!) so this slow cooker spiced pear sauce is the next best thing. It’s smooth and sweet with a delicious combination of warm spices that taste the way my memories of grandma’s jam make me feel.
If you’re new to it, pear sauce is basically applesauce made with pears. It’s one of our favorite ways to get in a little fruit during the winter, which so many of our favorites (berries! peaches!) aren’t in season. And though it may be a pretty humble recipe, the flavors are spectacular.
It also helps that it’s SUPER easy to make, especially with this slow cooker pear sauce recipe! Here’s what makes it so special…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO SLOW COOKER PEAR SAUCE:
I’ll just say it: your house will smell DIVINE after this pear sauce has been simmering away. The spice blend is out of this world! For your slow cooker pear sauce, you’ll need:
- RIPE PEARS. Use your favorite variety or whatever is on sale or in season. Bartlett is my favorite for pear sauce, but see the FAQ for more varieties that work!
- WATER. A little water keeps this pear sauce from burning, helps it blend better, and gives it the right consistency. (You *can* swap it out for apple cider for a special twist if you like!)
- CINNAMON + NUTMEG + CARDAMOM. This trio of spices is one of my absolute favorites. We use it in pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, this slow cooker or Instant Pot pear sauce, and so many other recipes!
SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO ENJOY PEAR SAUCE.
ON ITS OWN AS A SIDE DISH. There aren’t a ton of fruits (besides citrus) in season during the cold months, but you can count on pears! We serve this cold as a fruit side dish with meals during the winter sometimes and the kids (and grown-ups!) love it.
SPOONED OVER OATMEAL. Slow cooker pear sauce is SO lovely spooned over a bowl of warm oatmeal. (Try these Instant Pot steel cut oats or this stovetop version). I love adding almonds and more fruit on top!
STIRRED INTO YOGURT. Pear sauce is a great way to flavor plain yogurt (dairy or non-dairy). You can add a few spoonfuls to plain or vanilla yogurt for some instant flavor (+ maybe sprinkle some granola on top?)
FOR FRUIT ON THE BOTTOM CHIA PUDDING. I love this fruit-on-the-bottom chia pudding for an easy meal prep breakfast, and pear sauce makes a perfect fruity base to use. (You can also spoon it on top–it works both ways!)
SERVED WARM OVER VANILLA ICE CREAM. Lastly, if you want to get decadent (and a little old-fashioned), you can spoon some warm (like WARM) pear sauce over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast is lovely and it’s kind of like a quick fruit crumble! (Especially if you add some granola or nuts on top)
FAQ + TIPS FOR THIS SLOW COOKER PEAR SAUCE.
MAKE IT IN THE INSTANT POT! If you want to make this recipe as Instant Pot Pear Sauce it’s SUPER easy. Just add the ingredients to the Instant Pot + pressure cook on manual for 10 minutes + quick-release the steam + puree or mash as desired!
WHAT KIND OF PEARS CAN YOU USE FOR PEAR SAUCE? Just about any common variety will work–Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, and Red pears have all worked beautifully for me. I use Bartlett most often because they’re soft, sweet, and thin-skinned which helps them blend easily.
DO YOU HAVE TO PEEL PEARS FOR PEAR SAUCE? Mostly no! If you’re using a soft-skinned (+ripe) variety, you probably don’t need to peel them at all. (I rarely do!) You’ll probably want to puree the sauce for skin-on pears if you’ve got texture-sensitive littles (or grown-ups!) at your house.
CAN YOU FREEZE PEAR SAUCE? Yes! It’s a great make-ahead option. I freeze it in freezer-safe zip-top bags or storage containers (leave a little room at the top if using containers!). Then, thaw it in the fridge when you’re ready to use it.
MASHING VS PUREEING YOUR PEAR SAUCE. My kids prefer our pear sauce smooth, so I puree it in a blender (or use an immersion blender) so it’s super smooth. If you like a more rustic texture, you can use a potato masher to smash and mash it until it gets to your desired consistency.
DO YOU EAT PEAR SAUCE WARM OR COLD? Totally your preference. Our family enjoys it cold most of the time, but it’s really lovely warm in some applications (like over a warm bowl of oatmeal or spooned hot over a scoop of vanilla ice cream).
CAN I MAKE THIS ON THE STOVETOP? Absolutely. You can follow these directions to make pear sauce on the stovetop.
LOVE THIS PEAR SAUCE RECIPE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE:
- Maple Pumpkin Pie
- Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (+7 Flavors to try)
- Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE: