Pears and apples are both “pome fruits”. The textures, the skins and the cores are very similar. Consequently, the experts say apples are interchangeable with pears in any recipe. However, to compensate for the apple’s acidic tartness, when substituting pears we suggest spicing up the apple recipes with cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice, or a combination of these spices. Spices may not be needed if you are simply adding pears to “stretch” the apples in your favorite apple recipes. 

If you like apple pie, you  will love pear pie.  Use the same recipe, but make sure to cut back on the sugar as pears are sweeter than apples.  

Reduce fat - Most baking recipes that call for cooking oil.  Some bakers have found they can cut the fatty oils by substituting oil with pear sauce. Be prepared to experiment a little, as the pear sauce will increase the cooking time.

Understanding the common DNA of apples and pears, you will now be able to make pear pie, pear sauce, pear butter, pear crisp, and pear Brown Betty by substituting the pears for apples. Here are a few additional favorites of ours:

Pear Sundae

Using chunky, spiced pear sauce, heat the sauce and pour it directly over vanilla ice cream. What’s not to like?

Pear Puff Cakes

 1/4 cup butter (1/2 cube)    3 T. Sugar
 2 pears, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tsp.vanilla
 6 eggs 1/2 tsp. salt
 1 1/2 cups milk 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
 1 cup flour 3 T. brown sugar

 Melt butter in 13X 9 inch pan. Add pears into the pan. Heat in oven until sizzling. Whirl the remaining ingredients, except the brown sugar, in a blender. Pour the batter over the pears (still in the 13X 9). Sprinkle brown sugar on top and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve for breakfast with ham, bacon, or sausage.

Pear Dapple Cake

 3 eggs 1 tsp salt
 2 cups sugar 2 tsp vanilla
 1 1/2 cup oil 1 cup pecans
 3 cups flour 4 cups peeled and chopped pears
 1 tsp soda 

Cream the eggs, sugar and oil together. Sift and fold in the flour, soda, salt and vanilla. Then add pecans and pears. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Top with butter sauce -
     1 cup brown sugar
     ¼ cup milk
     1 cube butter.
Boil the sauce for 2 1/2 minutes and pour over hot cake.

Rustic Pear Tart

1-1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
¼ t. salt
7 T. cold butter (do not use a butter substitute)
 2 to 3 T. cold water

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Roll out to a 14 inch pizza pan.


 3/4 cup of sugar 1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
 1/4 cup of slivered, toasted almonds 4 medium ripe pears
 1 1/2 tsps grated lemon peel 1 t. butter

In a bowl combine the sugar, almonds, flour, lemon peel and cinnamon. Add pears and toss to coat. Spoon mixture over the pastry to within 2 inches of the edges. Dot the 2 inch edges with butter and fold edges of pastry over the pears. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Glaze (optional)
¼ c. powdered sugar
1½ t. milk
¼ t. vanilla extract
¼ c. slivered, toasted almonds.
 Combine the confection sugar, milk and vanilla. Pour over the warm tart. Sprinkle with almonds and let cool on a rack. Yields 8-10 servings.

Pear Butter

Wash the pears. Do not peel. Slice fairly thin. Add a small amount of water to start cooking. Cook until very soft. When sufficiently cooled, press the pulp through a sieve or food mill. To each cup of pulp add ½ cup of sugar. For each 6 cups of pulp, add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of Allspice and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg. Cook until thick, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Pour into sterilized canning jars to within 1/2 inch of the rim of the jar. Place lid and tighten firmly. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. (Again, check with the jar manufacturer's instructions for safe canning procedures.)

Pear Honey
8 cups peeled, cored and chopped pears (the greener the better).
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice.
8 cups sugar

Put everything in a large pot.
Cook over medium heat bring the contents to a rolling boil.  Frequent stirring will prevent scorching.  
Reduce the heat and cook until the mixture is the color and texture of honey. The longer it cooks the thicker it gets.  
Ladle the fruit off and fill sterile jars with the liquid and seal.  
Process for 15 minutes.  

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