Homemade Cardamom Pear Sauce

by Erin

This pear sauce might be better than the original applesauce. Seasoned with cardamom, this sauce is the perfect side dish for your holiday ham or for snacking anytime!

Cardamom Pear Sauce 1
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ForTheLoveOfHam #CollectiveBias

Holidays are for HAM! After cooking at 22 pound turkey for Thanksgiving for only 6 people, you could say I am a bit tired of turkey leftovers. If I had it my way I would bake ham for Thanksgiving but most people cry blasphemy at the mere suggestion.

Now that we are beyond the sacred turkey meal, nothing can stop me! Especially once I spied a Hormel Cure 81 bone-in ham in cherrywood flavor at Walmart.

Unfortunately as you are all aware, I moved this past weekend and by no means am I unpacked with a fully operational kitchen yet, nor do I have the energy to dig out the box with my Christmas decorations. With that in mind, purchasing a 9 pound ham may not seem like the most rational thing to do at this time but I disagree.

Despite the chaos that is my living situation I was able to whip together the perfect menu for any occasion, including the holiday season. And it didn’t take all day, or even half a day (as if I have time for that).

Cure 81 Ham 3

The day after I moved into my new house, kitchen essentials unpacked first, I baked a ham complete with roasted Brussels sprouts and cardamom pear sauce. Pear sauce is just like applesauce but made with pears and actually used my dad’s recipe for applesauce to make it. I grew up serving ham with applesauce and this cherrywood smoked ham inspired me to create a pear sauce seasoned with cardamom.

I was able to prep this entire meal in a little over an hour and a half: while the ham cooked, peeled and cooked pears on stove top, and roasted Brussels when glaze was added to the ham. But let me just say, that pear sauce is amazing. This was actually my second batch as I first made it last weekend for a holiday meal with friends. Even non pear lovers went back for seconds!

Cardamom Pear Sauce 2

I think a side of mac and cheese would have been a stellar addition as well to this meal. In fact I strongly suggest you make all of it for your next holiday gathering. While you are doing that, I may need to repeat this meal with some mac and cheese and then make other fun things with the leftover ham because I refuse to let any scrap go to waste. Split pea soup, breakfast quiches, and much more here I come! What will you serve your Hormel Cure 81 ham with?

Cardamom Pear Sauce 3

One year ago: Quiche for One

Three years ago: Gingerbread Oreo Snowman Truffles

Four years ago: Jalapeno Cornbread

Five years ago: Pretzel Rolls


Makes 1 quart


8 Bosc pears (3-4 lbs.)

4-6 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp cardamom

Lemon juice (for canning, optional)


  1. Peel, core, and evenly slice the pears. Place in a large pot and fill about 1/3 of the way up with water.
  2. Place pot over medium heat. Once the pears start to break down add sugar to taste, stirring a lot after the addition of sugar to prevent the thickened sauce from burning.
  3. Cook until it reaches the desired thickness, about 30-45 minutes. If some of the pears do not break down evenly you may have to use a masher on them (or immersion blender).
  4. If you are not eating immediately, you may freeze the sauce. Or if canning you should add 1/2 tsp lemon juice on the top of each jar before sealing.

Source: My dad’s homemade applesauce.

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