Substituting Ingredients in Recipes: What to Use when You’re Out of Apples

We’ve all been there before. We get ready to make a meal only to find out that there is some ingredient that we are missing. There’s no time to go to the store though so what do you do? It can be very valuable to know good substitutions for as many different items as possible. Personally I find that the items you are most likely to be short on are items that people will eat by themselves. Cumin isn’t as likely to disappear as something like an apple.

So what do you do when you need an apple for a recipe only to find that somebody has eaten all the apples as a snack? There are three good substitutes for apples and the nice thing is that each of these substitutions are equal to apples in serving size, meaning if you need a pound of apples then you need a pound of each of these items. If you only need a cup of apples then you only need a cup of each of these substitutes.

The first of three substitutes for apples is the one that you’re most likely to have at home. The first possible substitute for an apple is just a regular pear. Pears are similar to apples in size and texture. Obviously pears taste different than apples but in a recipe where it is not the main ingredient it’s only going to be a slight difference and you might even end up liking it better. The one difference between apples and pears is that the flesh on a pear is softer.

The second substitute for apples are Asian pears. In some places Asian pears are actually called “pear apples” or “apple pears”. They are like an amalgamation of the two fruits. The biggest difference between apples and Asian pears is that Asian pears retain their texture more, which means you need to slice them into thinner slices if you’re going to mix them into something else. Asian pears are also crispier and juicier.

The third possible substitute for an apple is a quince. However, there are only certain instances when you want to use a quince. If you’re baking and making some kind of apple dessert then you don’t want to use a quince because it does not bake well. Quinces are better if you’re cooking. Also if you use quinces instead of apples then expect even more of a tart flavor.

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