This delicious Apple Pear Slaw is a wholesome salad served with caramel cider vinaigrette, a healthy alternative to mayonnaise. The caramel vinaigrette brings a certain sharpness to this savory-sweet salad. And the fruits – apples, pears, and cranberries – balance it out with a sweet after-taste. Serve with just about anything; pita bread, turkey, barbecue pulled pork, you name it!
I’ll be honest, salads and slaws are not my go-to dishes. But when I do have them, crunchy salads are a must (I can’t stand anything mildly soggy). That said, I transform into the Simon Cowell of gastronomy when picking my ingredients for a salad. It’s a salad bowl, not a garburator.
I also have my moments with coleslaw. I like coleslaw but like salad, coleslaw is not my favorite. When it is served as a side dish at a restaurant, I’ll eat it. But when given a selection of side dishes to choose from, you can bet money that it would not be my first choice.
If you can’t stand the blobby texture of mayonnaise, you’ll love this Apple Pear Slaw recipe. What makes a fantastic substitute for mayonnaise?
Not plain old vinegar. The overwhelmingly pungent smell might make you lose your appetite. But when used in the right amount and combination – can do wonders. I guess we have the 19th century’s French cuisine to thank for inventing the ultimate salad dressing – vinaigrette.
A home-made vinaigrette is like discovering a new planet every day; once you get the base handled, you can season it with just about anything. The trick; though; is to add the correct ratio of vinegar and oil to knock down the acidity of the vinegar. For that, the perfect rule of thumb is one unit of vinegar versus two units of olive oil.
It’s had to go wrong with apple cider vinegar. So, that is what we are using for this vinaigrette.
To round out the vinaigrette, salt, and pepper are essential. For a sweet and caramelized taste, amp up the vinaigrette with extra apple cider, cinnamon, and the game-changing ingredient: caramel sauce to give it a nice flavor, and bright color.
All that’s left for you to do is mix the ingredients with the slaw and you’re ready to chow down this yummy Apple Pear Slaw!
- FOR THE CARAMEL CIDER VINAIGRETTE
- 2 tablespoons caramel sauce, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- FOR THE SLAW
- 2 medium gala apples, cut into long matchsticks
- 2 medium fuji apples, cut into long matchsticks
- 2 bartlett pears, cut into long matchsticks
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bow or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, this will ensure they combine well.
- Whisk together all the ingredients. Alternatively, screw the lid onto the jar tightly, and shake the jar vigorously for about 30 seconds to combine and emulsify the dressing. Most if not all of the caramel should fully incorporate into the dressing. It's okay if you see a bit of solid dressing stuck to the bottom of the jar.
- The vinaigrette will keep, stored in the jar in the fridge for about 2 weeks. You'll just want to let it come to room temperature and give it a good shake before using it again.
- Combine the sliced apples, sliced apples, cranberries, and golden raisins in a bowl.
- Add about 1/4 cup of the caramel cider vinaigrette and the ground cinnamon. Gently toss the slaw to coat it in the dressing.
- Allow the slaw to sit covered in the fridge for about an hour before re-tossing and serving.
- The slaw will keep, covered in the fridge for up to three days.
CARAMEL CIDER VINAIGRETTE
ASSEMBLING THE SLAW
* This recipe was originally published on 10/2011 by Jaclyn. Notes and photos updated on 06/2020.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 616Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 48gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 818mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 27gProtein: 1g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.
The Caramel Sauce
Why not make your own caramel sauce while you are at it? It is a simple additional step with only three ingredients – white sugar, salted butter, and heavy whipping cream. Simply put, melt the sugar in a saucier pan for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Here’s a good recipe!
Then, add butter and whisk to combine. Finally, add the whipping cream gradually and whisk until the caramel starts to reduce. You can store the sauce in a lidded jar and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Storing the Vinaigrette
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, your dressing can keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. In fact, the flavors will completely fuse into the dressing in about a weeks’ time. You can even prepare the vinaigrette one week in advance.
You might notice the caramel sauce agglomerating at the bottom, which is perfectly normal for an emulsion. Don’t forget to give it a really good shake when you want to use it again. Also, bring the vinaigrette to room temperature before coating your slaw.
Storing the Apple Pear Slaw
If covered, the slaw can sit in the fridge for three days. After that, the apples might start to go bad and all mushy. Nobody likes soggy slaw!
- For extra tanginess, add a tablespoon of mustard.
- You can add cucumber, cabbage, carrots, or red onion; they will go well with the vinaigrette.
- For a slightly bitter undertone, you can add one tablespoon of fresh minced tarragon or dill into the vinaigrette.
- You can scatter chopped parsley, poppy seeds, or toasted nuts on top to finish off this perfection.
As far as serving goes, you can pair this sweet coleslaw with marinated pork chops, pork sausage, or even burgers. This Apple Pear Slaw with Caramel Cider Vinaigrette recipe is a healthier substitute for french fries.
If you are feeling biased towards coleslaw, this apple pear slaw with a caramel cider vinaigrette will change your mind. It is the perfect blend of savory and sweet with a tangy undertone/sharpness that will leave you out of words as your merrily gobble this delectable slaw.
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