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November 20, 2011

I started making applesauce when we lived in Italy and there was no such thing on the grocery shelves. It was the start of a fragrant and cozy Fall tradition in our house. Every year around Thanksgiving, as the apples picked in September are not as crisp as they were fresh off the tree, I usually make our first batch. This year, weekends were busier than usual and we didn’t make it to the orchard so I bought several trays of not perfect apples from my favorite neighborhood market. There is a perk to American shoppers wanting only fruit in pristine condition, no marks, no bruises and that is being able to get 8 or 9 less-than-perfect apples for 99 cents. Can’t shake a stick at that. So home I went with my two dollars worth of apples that ended up making over 2 quarts of homemade sauce. I add a little cinnamon, salt, vanilla and brown sugar, the rest is the great flavor comes from the apples themselves. You can use any apples you’d like but I like a mixture of granny smith, gala, honey crisp and golden delicious Leave it chunky with pieces of cooked peel or pass it through a food mill to make it smooth. We eat it warm and cold, for dessert alone or with vanilla ice cream and ginger snaps or with pork chops or roast. Store bought apple sauce may be a thing of the past once you try making this and see how easy it is.


makes about 2 quarts

  • 16 apples  washed, cored and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp. ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • pinch of ground clove
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Method: wash apples. Quarter, core and cut into chunks. Put 1/4 cup water into large pot, add apple pieces, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally until apples are soft, about 30 minutes. For smooth consistency pass through medium sieve of food mill. For chunky consistency, serve as is with peels intact. I use good quality cinnamon such as organic Vietnamese or “Saigon” Cassia Cinnamon and pure Madagascar double strength vanilla extract from The Spice House. 

Wash apples, cut in quarters, core and chop into pieces 

Cook in a large pot with cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, salt and vanilla 

Pass through a medium sieve of a food mill for a smooth texture.

Enjoy hot or cold. Freezes great too.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2011 1:14 am

    I can almost smell it, now. Yum! (Next time I see you, please share which market.)

    • November 21, 2011 6:55 pm

      Jessica, In case you check back… You can get cheap, good apples at the International Market on Milwaukee/Dundee and Fresh Fields over on Skokie Blvd..

  2. December 23, 2011 8:03 am

    I like to make applesauce too. I use it mostly when I am baking to replace oil in a recipe. It is so good on toast too. I’m going to look for the cinnamon you recommend.

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