A perfect fall afternoon feels cool and crisp, and has sun occasionally breaking through billows of charcoal clouds. The smell of a perfect fall afternoon is of chilly, damp earth and leaves, and the scent of a wood stove fired up nearby.
And in the kitchen the spicy fragrance of applesauce. Apples right out of the orchard tote are washed, peeled, sliced, loaded with sugar and spice, and baked to create the tender treat. On unseasonably warm days like today (we are technically in the first days of fall but the temperature is sticking stubbornly in the 80s) I like to think upon these images and aromas to remember that true fall will soon be here.
This spiced applesauce is a wonderful way to use up the bushels of apples you eagerly picked on your annual trip to the apple orchard.
(Or perhaps you took the speedier route and toted them home from the market.)
It is rich with spices like cinnamon and clove, and has a hearty texture thanks to peels incorporated in the sauce. I love eating apples out of hand in the fall, and wanted to find a way to include the peels in homemade applesauce in a way that complemented the texture of the cooked apples.
In my recipe, the peels are finely chopped and then roasted with the apples to create a hearty, chunky texture.
This applesauce is great eaten while still warm or chilled from the fridge, and will taste delicious and fall-like whether you are cozy in your flannel and Uggs or you’re sweating it out in summer-like temps!
Warm Spiced Applesauce
Warm or chilled, this is a sweet and chunky applesauce full of spices and a perfect little bite of fall.
- 7 McIntosh apples, about 4-5 ounces each, washed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8" x 8" baking dish lightly with nonstick spray. Have a large bowl ready.
Peel the apples, and set the peels aside. Remove and discard the cores from the apples. Cut the apples into 1/2-inch thick slices. and place the slices into the bowl. Add to the bowl the brown sugar, granulated sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir to thoroughly coat the apples with the sugar and spices.
Place the reserved apple peels into a food processor and process them until they are finely chopped. Add them to the mixture stir to combine them with the apple slices. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
Bake the apples for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to keep the apples moist. Once the apples are soft and mash-able, remove the pan from oven.
Break down the apples using an immersion/stick blender. (A potato masher can also be used.) Blend or mash the apples until you get a thick and rugged sauce.
Stir the sauce through before serving. You can serve the sauce warm, at room temperature, or chilled. The cooled applesauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Note: McIntosh apples are my favorite for making applesauce, but you can also experiment with your preferred varieties. McIntosh apples have a nice tartness... if you decide to go with a sweeter variety, you may want to adjust the sugar to suit your taste.
Create, Be Curious, Celebrate.. with Food!