Applesauce Therapy

I had a major case of the "Mondays" today. My stomach hurt, my back hurt, I was tired and had to write one million lesson plans. The kids were tired and cranky because they were allowed to stay up too late watching the Super Bowl. All in all, I was in need of a pick-me-up once the day was through. So what did I do, you ask?

Make applesauce, of course! I drove over to Produce Junction after school and bought 20 apples for $5. (I also may or may not have stopped at a drive through for some french fries...but before you judge me, I have not eaten french fries in a really long time and they are my favorite junk food. I love them with my whole heart.)

I've always derived a great deal of comfort from applesauce. We didn't make our own when I was growing up, but my Mom would heat it up and serve it with dinner quite a bit and it was always on hand for when I didn't feel well. My great Aunt Frannie made it from scratch and I would eat it at her house when we'd visit.

I came across a recipe for homemade applesauce in one of my Ina Garten cookbooks this past weekend and kind of did my own thing with it. She had all sorts of zests and juices going on in her recipe and I didn't really have much more than a bag of apples on hand. So on Sunday, I gave it a go and liked the results. I only had a few apples, so I didn't make much. I also thought it would be fun to put massive amounts of brown sugar in the pot and it came out much too sweet. So I tried again tonight and got it right!

Easy Homemade Applesauce

6 to 9 Granny Smith apples
6 to 9 McIntosh apples
3/4 stick of butter
between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of brown sugar (depending on the amount of apples)
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
1/4 cup orange juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel all the apples and core them. Cut them into quarters and throw them into an oven safe pot that has a tight fitting lid or a dutch oven.
  3. Ina Garten says to throw one or two of the red peels into the apples to make the applesauce have a rosy color. I didn't do this yesterday and then tried it tonight. I can't say I was overwhelmed by the rosiness of it all, but I guess it tinted it a bit.
  4. Cut up the 3/4 stick of butter and add to the apples.
  5. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice to the apples. Then pour the orange juice into the pot. Give the whole thing a toss with a spoon to mix it up.
  6. Put the lid on the pot and place in the oven. Bake for a good hour and then check it. The apples should start to break down when you stir them with a spoon. If they don't seem mushy enough, give it another 15 minutes.
  7. Take the pot out of the oven and stir with a spoon to mash the applesauce to the desired consistancy. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. It keeps for several weeks in the fridge, but you can freeze it as well.
Sitting with a bowl of warm homemade applesauce is exactly the therapy I needed tonight. It cost me $5 to make a large enough batch to keep some in the fridge for this week and to freeze a bunch for future therapy sessions.


  1. I've never made my own applesauce. I guess I imagined that it needed a grinder of some sort, but that one seems easy! I'm going to have to try it. My boys both LOVE applesauce! (And I'm rather fond of it myself.)

  2. I thought I would have to use my food mill..but I didn't. It just mushed up perfectly with a spoon. It's so nice to have in the fridge...we've been eating it after dinner all week long!

  3. This is great. I'm looking for justifications for my dutch oven purchase. This is so darn easy, I've got to try it. Do you think it would still work out if I used the caramel apples from Audrey...ha!