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What Happened to Applesauce? The BEST Applesauce Recipe

Applesauce. I know. You’re thinking, really?? This is what we’re talking about today?

Usually applesauce is reserved for babies, the tummy-bug BRAT diet, and pork chops. It’s that jar at the back of your fridge that you forget about until there is absolutely nothing left to eat, and then you have a bowl (or the rest of the jar), and wonder why you don’t eat it more often. And then it goes back to the back of your fridge. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

But, I’m telling you. You need to reintroduce applesauce, especially homemade applesauce into your life. It’s a delicious, healthy, easy snack; can be used in cooking and baking; and is a fantastic way to preserve the flavors of fall. And, here’s the secret to making the best applesauce E.V.E.R. – cinnamon. Rocket science, I know. But that’s all I add to my sauce and when I give it as gifts, I consistently hear how it’s the best they’ve ever had.  


When I moved to the Hudson Valley, we started going apple picking every weekend. If you’ve never been to a pick-your-own, you should know that you feel compelled to pick as much fruit as possible because it’s inexpensive and it’s there and it’s fun and all the sudden you have 3 gallons of blueberries or 2 bushels of apples. What the heck do you do with all that fruit, besides get fruit flies? Make applesauce, obviously.

In addition to preventing fruit flies, I love canning and freezing seasonal fruits because it allows my family to eat local through the winter. Don’t get me wrong, we buy lots of lemons and limes and bananas and KerryGold butter and shrimp (and more cereal than I’d like to admit for the kiddo), but when you live in a place as bountiful as the Hudson Valley, it feels (and tastes) really good to take advantage of it.

Applesauce is super easy to make, can be made without any added sugar, and is really scalable. You can make enough for dinner or enough for winter. The recipe below includes top level canning instructions. If you’re new to canning, this website, while old school, has been my go-to guide for years. If you don’t want to can it, put it in baggies or jars and freeze it. 


Wash, peel, core, and slice your apples. I use this rock star suction cup peeler. You could also use a paring knife to peel the apples…but this is way more fun. Make sure to use that paring knife to get rid skin the peeler leaves on; that won’t be good later #trustme.


As you peel, add either a small amount of lemon juice mixed with water (1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp water) or citric acid to keep the apples from getting brown. I filled a 14 quart pot with raw apples and did this for ever large bowl I added – about 5 times.


Add an inch of water to the bottom of your pot and then add all your apples in. Fill that pot up, they’ll cook down. Cook on medium heat until the apples are mushy – anywhere from 20-60 minutes depending on your volume.


Mash or puree the apples to your preferred applesauce consistency. For my first batch, I used a hand blender (a blender or food processor would work too). For the second, TimTheFarmer mentioned he preferred the chunky version I make, so I used the potato masher to mash the apples.

Add cinnamon to taste. This is the key to making the best apples sauce ever. Taste the sauce; depending on the apples you use, you may need to sweeten it up if it causes pucker face. I use honey from the same place we get the apples, but any honey or other sweetener will do. Just as an FYI, if you pick the right apples you won’t need to sweeten. I’ve only added sweetness once in 4 years of making the sauce.


To can, prepare your jars and water bath. Fill up the hot jars with applesauce and leave 1/4 inch of head space. Clean off the rim and cover and seal wth your hot lids and rings. Process jars for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy all winter long.

The Best Applesauce
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  1. Apples
  2. Fresh lemon juice or citric acid (1 tsp per 5 cups of sliced apples)
  3. Cinnamon
  1. Wash, peel, core, and slice apples
  2. Toss apples with lemon juice or citric acid.
  3. Fill pot with one inch of water and add apples. Cook on medium heat until softened, 20-60 minutes depending on volume.
  4. Puree or mash apples to desired consistency.
  5. Add cinnamon to taste.
  6. Adjust sweetness if necessary.
  1. Process jars for 20-30 minutes or refrigerate.
Isn't That Grand?

Freezing Fall’s Flavors: Cauliflower Fennel Soup

One of the perks of having a husband who works on a farm is the access to fresh, local, organic produce. We can, in general, harvest extras from the farm and each season, I make it my mission to put up as much of this bounty for the winter so that we can eat awesome veggies long after the fields are covered in snow. Freezing is one of my favorite preservation methods.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup

Fennel and cauliflower peak now (and late spring) and we love those flavors! My brother gave me this awesome cookbook a few years ago with recipes from farmers who work on farms like Hearty Roots and it’s fantastic because not only are the recipes great, it features seasonal recipes with ingredients that are fresh at the same time. I’ve modified its Creamy Cauliflower and Fennel soup the tiniest bit to make it paleo. I make huge batches of it with seconds from the farm and freeze the soup in family-size portions for great soup all winter. It’s also pretty nifty when I’ve been on top of my bone broth game which I make from chickens TimTheFarmer raises because this entire recipe comes from the farm (except for the fennel seeds and S&P #obviously)!

The recipe below is for a single batch – I just finished a batch 14x this size and froze 10 quarts of soup and 2 quarts of broth. Also, make sure to check out the end of the recipe for a big ol’ what not to do.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup + Broth

3 tbsp grassfed butter
1/2 large yellow onion
1 small fennel bulb
1/2 large cauliflower
4 thyme sprigs
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth/stock (if canned, use parts broth/stock and water)
1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper (I use pink Himalayan sea salt)

Chop all your ingredients (slice onions and fennel and cut cauliflower into florets).Cauliflower Fennel SoupMelt butter in a large pot and add onions. Cook onions until starting to brown and then add your cauliflower, fennel, and thyme sprigs (or dried thyme if you don’t have fresh…which I didn’t, because TimTheFarmer didn’t have time to grab…#hethinkshesfunny). Stir around to coat in the onions and butter.

Pour in your stock/broth/water combo. Bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is soft (20 min to an hour depending on your stove and size of batch).

When the cauliflower is cooked, use a strainer and large bowl OR a glass measuring cup to pull out most of the cooking liquid. Set the liquid aside (DON’T THROW OUT THAT LIQUID GOLD!). Add the crushed fennel seed to the solids and use a hand blender to blend the solids into a puree. You can also use a blender or food processor, but I prefer the hand blender as it keeps the dishes to a minimum.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup Steps

Once you’ve pureed the solids, add enough of the liquid gold back in to get the soup consistency you like. Return soup to the heat and add S&P to taste. Depending on how many times you increase this recipe, this could become quite a bit of salt #dontbescared #dontundersalt.

Now you’re ready to serve dinner up or freeze your soup for later! I buy these freezer quart containers.

Here’s where we get to what not to do. Do not, under any circumstances, set the soup on an unbalanced sheet tray on the counter, because it will fall and you will end up scalding your leg through your pants and you will do a striptease in the kitchen (luckily no one was home) to get out of your burning pants, and you will still be cleaning up soup from EVERYWHERE in your kitchen days later. Seriously. It splashed onto my computer and wallet and walls more than ten feet away. Update: I just discovered it on the ceiling.


Aaanywaaay, to freeze the soup, fill up your quart containers (freezer baggies work too) and leave an inch of head space (the empty space in your baggie or container that allows the expansion of liquids when freezing). Cover and let cool.

Cauliflower Fennel Soup

Once cool, label your lids – I use permeant marker on the lids, which should come off when you wash them. If it doesn’t, something oil-based (cooking oils or sunscreen, obviously) will get it off (everything I need to know, I learned in ski school). Put in the freezer. Defrost and reheat to enjoy!

Broth: remember that unused liquid gold? Make sure to freeze that too! It’s a great, flavorful chicken/vegetable broth that works well as a basic broth, or in your next batch of this soup.