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Go Ask Mom

Recipe: Homemade applesauce

Posted October 4, 2012

Fall is in the air - mornings are crisp, days are getting shorter, and apples are abundant at local farmers markets. I love seeing all the varieties on display and sampling the options from week to week.

While one of my daughter’s favorite snacks is a fresh, fall apple, there’s something special about making applesauce together. The wonderful aroma of apples, fresh cider, and spices brewing cheers us up on rainy fall days, and then we have a delicious and healthy snack for days to come. Here’s a simple recipe that we use at the Cafe and home. Apples at the N.C. Farmers' Market

Homemade Applesauce

1 cup apple cider (apple juice or water can be substituted)
8 large apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium low heat.
2. Cook the apples, stirring often, until they are soft and falling apart (about 1 ½ hours).
3. Mash apples to desired consistency with a wooden spoon or potato masher. For extra smooth applesauce, use a blender.

Makes about 4 cups of applesauce.


  • Use a mixture of apple varieties for best results. Some N.C. varietals that work well in sauce include: Gala, Fuji, Golden or Red Delicious, Rome Beauty, Jonagold, Empire, and Pink Lady. Include a couple of Granny Smiths for a touch of tartness.
  • You can leave the apple peels on and blend them into the final sauce, though this is only recommended if you are using organic apples.
  • For something a little different, use pears instead of apples.

Holly Taylor, a mom of one in Raleigh, is an owner of Pullen Place Cafe & Catering, which focuses on serving fresh, local, seasonal fare in the heart of Raleigh's historic Pullen Park. The cafe, which also caters events, has a kids menu and a wide variety of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Go Ask Mom features recipes every Friday. Go to's recipe database for more.


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  • snowl Oct 8, 2012

    That's too much work for simple applesauce. I'll opt out and make apple.... :pie.

  • americaneel Oct 7, 2012

    Killian...OK, got me on that one.

  • Killian Oct 7, 2012

    americaneel - Nope. Just the teacher. =)

  • Nicole Rose Oct 7, 2012


  • americaneel Oct 6, 2012

    Killian...Teacher's pet

  • Killian Oct 6, 2012

    NY Yankee - apple seeds contain cyanide. It's generally trace amounts, but why risk it? And the core surrounding the seeds is tough and hard - what possible reason could you have for leaving that on?

    diveyrround - amercianeel may be a tool for the snide answer, but the answer *is* yes it can. Follow the directions to keep sterility intact, and you'll have applesauce for months.

  • New York Yankee Oct 6, 2012


  • froggygirl Oct 5, 2012

    Homemade applesauce cans and freezes well. You should have no difficulties finding recipes online.

  • americaneel Oct 5, 2012 put it in a can. Any more questions?

  • diveyrround Oct 5, 2012

    Can this be "canned"? How would you do it? I'm new at canning and think this would be great to have for weeks/months to come.