How To Make Homemade Applesauce + Apple Pear Sauce

Sweet, tart and smooth, homemade applesauce is such a great snack and is so easy to make. You can also cook pears along with the apples and make the most incredible Apple Pear Sauce, which makes the sauce even more delicious.

Homemade Applesauce / Apple Pear Sauce

Homemade applesauce is so easy to make and I really like that you can control the sweetness and add any flavor to it that you like, such as lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

When I was growing up and still lived with my parents, we had dozens of apples trees on our property, so every autumn we used apples in so many different ways – we made apple chips out of them, Apple Sharlotka, apple cookies, apple pies and applesauce was a definite must.

I love cooking pears along with the apples to create an Apple Pear Sauce. It tastes so good and is great to use in other recipes but mostly to enjoy as a snack on its own. Applesauce can be canned or frozen, which is really great.

You can use this same recipe to make applesauce, pear sauce or a combination of both, which is my favorite. Plus I made a refreshing drink from the cooking liquid, Russian Apple-Pear Kompot. Two for the price of one is never a bad idea.

Video of How To Make Homemade Applesauce/ Apple Pear Sauce


  • Apples – you can use any apple varieties to make applesauce
  • Pears – any variety of pears can be used
  • Sugar
    • if you use really sweet apples, you may not need any sugar, but if you use tart apples, you can sweeten the applesauce with sugar to taste.
  • Lemon Juice – lemon juice will add a lovely tartness to the applesauce, but will also keep it from turning too brown.

What Apples Are Best For Homemade Applesauce?

You can use any apples for applesauce or a combination of different varieties. Some apples will cook faster than others. For example, Granny Smith apples will take longer to cook than Macintosh Apples. In that case, I just scoop out the apples that are already done cooking and set them aside to wait until the rest of the apples finish cooking and then combine them together. I think it’s great that you can create different flavors and textures of applesauce by using a variety of apples.

Basket of apples for homemade applesauce

What Pears Are Best For Pear Sauce?

You can also use any variety of pears for pear sauce. My personal preference are Barrettes, because they cook through really quickly. If you’re using a variety of apples that cook fast too, like Macintosh apples, Barlett pears are a great choice, since they will cook through at the same time. Bosc pears hold their shape longer when cooked, so they are a good choice if you’re using Granny Smith apples.

Basket of pears for homemade apple pear sauce

How To Make Homemade Applesauce (Apple Pear Sauce)

  1. Peel and core apples and pears. Place them in a large pot.
  2. Pour in the water and add the sugar, if using. You can also add a cinnamon stick, for flavor, right into the pot, to cook along with the fruit.
    • Whenever I make apple or pear sauce, I always fill the pot all the way to the top with water, so that I can make Kompot, a really delicious drink. If you don’t plan to make Kompot, just add enough water to barely cover the fruit.
  3. Cook the fruit. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the apples and pears are tender and soft, and a fork or toothpick easily pierces it. This usually takes 20-30 minutes, after boiling. However, the cooking time depends on how big you cut the fruit and what varieties of apples of pears you are using.
  4. Drain. When the fruit is cooked, drain the liquid, setting it aside to cook, if you are going to use it to make Kompot. If not, discard it and place the cooked fruit back in the pot or into a large bowl.
  5. Mash/puree the fruit. Use a potato masher, food mill, food processor, blender or an immersion blender to mash up the cooked apples and or pears until you get the consistency that you like.
  6. Add the lemon juice and other flavorings, if you like, such as vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.
How to make homemade applesauce tutorial 
How to make apple pear sauce

Storing the Apple Pear Sauce

Applesauce can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week, but it also can be canned for long term storage or even frozen for up to 6 months.

How To Can Homemade Applesauce

Pour the applesauce into clean and sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 an inch of room at the top. (Run the jars and lids through a dishwasher or place the jars in a 200 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes, and place the lids in boiled water for 5-10 minutes (don’t boil the lids, or you can ruin them, just boil the water and then place the lids in.)

Place the canned applesauce into a water bath – place a kitchen towel onto the bottom of a pot if you don’t have a special canner. Make sure the water is all the way to the top of the jars, right below the lid. Cook for 10-15 minutes.

Spoonful of homemade apple pear sauce

How To Freeze Applesauce

Pour the apple and or pear sauce into freezer ziplock bags or airtight containers. Freeze up to 6 months.

Helpful Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to add sugar to applesauce?

That is entirely up to you. If you use sweeter apples, the applesauce may be sweet enough on its own. However, if you use apples that are tart, like Granny Smith apples, you may want to sweeten the applesauce, otherwise the sauce will be too tart. It’s completely a matter of taste preference. Since I usually use a combination of both tart and sweet apples, I usually only add a small amount of sugar, but when I use only sweet apples, sometimes I don’t add any sugar at all.

What other sweeteners can be used instead of sugar?

Instead of using granulated sugar, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, you can also use maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, stevia or other sugar alternatives that you like.

Do apples and pears need to be peeled and cored for sauce?

If you like a chunkier, more rustic texture for sauce, you don’t have to peel the apples or pears. Also, if you have a food mill, you don’t need to peel them either. A food mill is an old fashioned tool that is both a strainer and a masher, so you will have a perfectly smooth sauce if you use it.
The seeds, however, should be removed, because they can make the sauce a bit bitter.
In my opinion, it doesn’t take very long to peel and core the apples and pears, and it’s so much faster to mash them up after cooking. I love the smooth texture.

Can you freeze homemade applesauce?

Yes, it freezes really well. Pour the applesauce/ apple pear sauce into freezer ziplock bags or airtight containers. Freeze up to 6 months.


How To Make Homemade Applesauce – Apple Pear Sauce

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Sweet, tart and smooth, homemade applesauce is such a great snack. Cook pears along with the apples and make the most incredible Apple Pear Sauce, which makes the sauce even more delicious. 

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1/2 cups 1x



3 lbs apples

3 lbs pears

1/2 cup granulated sugar, optional

12 cups of water (if you will are not making Kompot, only add enough water to cover the fruit)

1/21 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

ground cinnamon, to taste, optional 


  1. Peel, core and quarter all the apples and pears. 
  2. Place the apples and pears into a large pot. Fill the pot with water. If you are making Kompot (apple and pear drink), then add all the water, filling the pot to the top. However, if you only want to make sauce, add enough water to only cover the fruit. 
  3. Add the sugar, if you are using it. 
  4. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered for 20-30 minutes, depending on how big you cut the fruit and the variety of apples and pears you are using. The fruit should be tender and soft, almost starting to break down. 
  5. Drain the liquid, pouring it through a fine mesh sieve, if you are going to use the liquid for Kompot. 
  6. Mash the apples, using a potato masher if you want a more rustic texture or a food processor or blender if you want it to have a smooth texture. 
  7. Add the lemon juice. You can also add vanilla extract and cinnamon, for flavoring the sauce.
  8. Store the applesauce in the refrigerator for about a week. 

You can also preserve it by canning the applesauce in sterilized jars or freeze in airtight containers or freezer ziplock bags for about 6 months. 

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This is an updated version of the Apple Pear Sauce recipe that was published originally on September 21, 2012.


  • Natasha

    Hi Olga,
    Looks great. Can’t wait to try it. My boys are going to love it especially my 9 months old. I would love to get a recipe for the dried apples. I love dried fruits.
    Thank you again and have a great weekend.

  • Alla

    Hey Olga 😉 I was just looking for a recipe for this. I was going tO make it in the crockpot but I think I might do it your way and get kompot out of it too 😉 Thanx again;)

    • olgak7

      Awesome, Alla! I always used to throw out the fruit when I made kompot and would also pour all that lovely cooking liquid from making applesauce down the drain too. One day, I put two and two together and got an idea to do both in one recipe. Worked out great:).

  • inessa

    I have been making kampot for years now and every single time I felt so bad trowing the fruits away.. I feel so good about making kampot now, and the kids LOVE the sauce.. I make it with all kinds of fruit so the sauce is unbelievable!!!!!!!!! thank you so much for the wonderful tip!! I will be making this from now on every time I make kampot!!

  • Moms Dish

    Olga, did you have any issues of apple sauce growing mold? I keep my in fridge and I checked today it has mold 🙁 I know typicality it happens when you dont add enough sugar.

    • olgak7

      Hi Mom’s Dish!
      I’ve never had an issues with my applesauce getting moldy, but we usually eat it pretty quickly. I don’t really have anywhere to store it, so I don’t make more than a few jars. If you make a large amount, I would make sure to sterilize the jars carefully and place the jars in a water bath for about 15 minutes. I don’t like sweet applesauce, so I wouldn’t even bother making it if I had to add more sugar:).

      • Moms Dish

        Thanks Olya, I guess I will keep on experimenting 🙂 Cuz I had apples from tree I wanted to use it up so I made a lot. I like to use it in cookies instead of butter. Cuts down a few calories for me 🙂

      • Shannon Deal

        I think your directions on only putting water in the water bath up to the rim of jars below the lid could be an issue. I have been calling for 30+ years and every recipe I’ve ever read says to cover the jars completely and ensure the water is 2-3 “ above the jars. I’ve never had an issue and this is the way my mom and grandma taught me also.

  • inessa

    I don’t add sugar at all to my apple sauce, but it doesn’t stay they longer then 2-3 days (my 3 year old LOVES IT!! ) so do I….

    • olgak7

      Yep, if the apples are sweet, the applesauce doesn’t need much sugar at all. I like using really tart apples, so I add a little sugar to it. I like my applesauce just a bit sweet and somewhat tart.

    • Shannon Deal

      I make apple sauce and pear sauce and a lot of other home canned puréed veggies and fruits for my youngest grandkids. I cook my apples in apple juice to help sweeten it just a bit because we don’t want to add sugar for the babies. Sometimes I have to play with the mix of varieties to get it just sweet enough

  • Laura

    A couple more ideas – if you put about 1/2 cup apple juice (or a little more with this quantity of fruit) in the pot with your apples and pears, bring to boil and simmer until fruit is tender, the fruit creates its own cooking liquid, and you don’t have to strain it and lose all that fruity goodness. You do have to stir it a couple of times, but the juice is a natural sweetener so, along with the sweetness of the pears, you shouldn’t need to add much if any sugar. This makes it a super healthy super yummy treat if you’re watching your sugar intake. If you happen to have an old-fashioned Foley food mill, it is the BEST for making sauce – it removes core, seeds, skin for you and gives you a wonderful smooth sauce. Great idea to change up the traditional apple sauce with some sweet ripe pears!

    • olgak7

      That’s a great idea, Laura, although I LOVE making kompot to drink, so it’s worth it for me to use water instead. However, if you’re only making applesauce, that would be great.

  • Tracy Warneke-Klepzig

    Can the pears and apples be peeled and frozen to make sauce with later? I have far too many to use all at once and don’t want them to go bad.

    • olgak7

      Freezing apples and pears is not ideal. They will break apart and become very mushy. I guess it’s alright if you’re going to turn them into applesauce but I prefer to cook and prepare the apple/pear sauce and then freeze it.

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