Roasted SpicedĀ Applesauce

December 10, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Serves about 10 small jars
Author Notes

I was inspired to make this sauce after reading wellfed's blog, who was inspired by a Martha recipe. most people who have received this sauce from me have returned their jars within a day. they say that they have a bite to taste it, intending to serve it after dinner, but then end up eating the entire jar! it's spicy, sweet, satisfying and reminiscent of the holidays and excellent if heated slightly and served over really good vanilla ice cream or yogourt. —thefood

What You'll Need
  • 16 apples of your choosing. I would suggest whatever is in season at the time (I recently used a blush gala apple which was devine)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or juice
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • 10 tablespoons Brown Sugar. If you would like a more spicy & less sweet sauce, reduce to 8. If your apple is very sweet, also reduce.
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons really good vanilla (as ina would say)
  • 2 vanilla beans (optional - but totally worth it)
  • additional lemon juice (to add to water to keep apples from browning)
  1. You will also require: 8-12 mason jars with lids (depending on the sizes you choose) and most likely vanilla ice cream or frozen yogourt mmmm
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  3. Peel & core apples & cut into chunks about 1" X 1" in size. Place into a large bowl filled with cold water and lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice per 8 apples)
  4. In a large roasting pan (I sometimes split into two small roasting pans), add the apple cider or juice, honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, spices & salt. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean pod in as well and whisk all ingredients to combine. Toss the apples until they are coated with mixture. Cut vanilla pod lengthwise down the spine and place one piece on each side of the roasting pan and place in oven. Roast until the apples are very soft (about 45 minutes). NOTE: I prefer to have some chunks left in my applesauce, so I roast until the corners of the chunks are still in tact when you mash them. If you prefer smooth applesauce, roast a little longer than that.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Use a form to mash apples until you have reached your desired consistency. At this point you can serve the applesauce hot if you wish.
  6. Let applesauce cool completely before spooning into your chosen storage vessels (I really like to use small, jam sized jars with lids as they are easy and elegant to give as gifts). For presentation's sake, I add one of the vanilla bean pod halves to the jars standing straight up on the side of the jar. This sauce keeps in the refridgerator for about a week and can be frozen as it thaws nicely.
  7. TIP: Depending on the type of apple you use, after roasting there may be a lot of liquid in the pan. Since I prefer a chunky applesauce, I usually drain the liquid into a pot and heat over medium until the liquid reduces into a thick sauce that can be poured over ice cream, yogourt or even used in other recipes (granola, baked goods, etc).
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15 Reviews

tpschrager November 9, 2015
Do you drain the apples before tossing them with the rest of the ingredients? I imagine so as it does not call for a specific amount of water and I'm assuming that is to keep them fresh and white while you are cutting them up.
Thanks, Tamar
TootieMcBear September 13, 2015
What does "use a form" mean? Not sure what tool will be best for finale.
Eleana November 9, 2014
I made this yesterday evening with some granny smith apples. I used maple syrup instead of sugar and it was amazing. Thank you for a lovely recipe.
Susan September 8, 2014
This is a refreshingly easy recipe! When I used to make applesauce on top of the stove, I never knew how long to cook the darn pomes! Not so here, 45 minutes just right. Used my dear friend's homegrown Galas and Golden Delicious apples. Used half the brown sugar called for in the recipe but DID add the whole vanilla beans as instructed. Did not have extra juice afterwards. Served it warm with a thick pork chop and roasted cauliflower. Yummy!!!
L K. January 28, 2014
A delicious all grown up applesauce! I made it in my small countertop roaster, it stayed very juicy probably because it was covered. Took longer for my apples to get tender, toward the end I put the lid on askew and it thickened up perfectly. My DH enjoys it with just whipped cream for dessert.
AntoniaJames November 6, 2011
I used some of this to fill out the fruit required in a banana bread recipe (which I actually baked as muffins). I had some on hand from last winter because the cardamom flavor in the applesauce was a bit too strong for my liking. (I probably just put too much in, but also, as I've noted elsewhere, I tend to find cardamom to be quite assertive. I think it's one of those spices that speaks more loudly to some than others.) In any event, it was among the best banana bread I've ever made -- and I've made at least a dozen loaves a year for more than two decades now. I'm going to try substituting the applesauce for almost all of the banana called for, using one banana instead of four. ;o)
oohsadetlo April 4, 2011
Love the idea of putting vanilla in! Changed it up a little, used spartan apples, substituted pear juice for apple, and used ground allspice and organic cinnamon and it tastes amazing! Easy recipe with awesome results. Thanks kindly!
stinkycheese November 16, 2010
I made this with "Arkansas Black" apples. (They were on sale at the orchard and labeled as good for making sauce.) My apples got really dry in the oven. Next time I would cover the roasting pan with foil. But the flavor was amazing. I substituted cardamom pods for the ground cardamom and just fished them out along with the vanilla bean pods at the end. I also put the finished sauce in sterilized jars so I can store some in my pantry. Good stuff.
AntoniaJames November 16, 2010
I had the same problem, using a variety of Northern CA apples . . . so I just put them in a big pot with some water, mashed up the chunks with a potato masher, scraped out the roasting pan and sloshed some more water around in it, which I added to the pot, and cooked it all on the stove for about five minutes, and then canned it. Really tasty! I like your idea of putting cardamom pods in and then fishing them out, as the freshly ground cardamom seeds in mine ended up coming through too strong. ;o)
dymnyno December 11, 2009
Sounds delicious...I am definitely making this soon...maybe tomorrow.
Kelsey B. December 11, 2009
I love homemade applesauce, this recipe looks awesome!
thefood December 11, 2009
glad you all think it sounds so tantilizing! it really, really is!
Maria T. December 10, 2009
Apples, and roasted, and a sauce, sounds delicious,like the previous comment I can almost taste it.. Great recipe. Than you for sharing it.
TheWimpyVegetarian December 10, 2009
This looks fabulous. I feel like I can taste them right now. I'm definitely making it this weekend. Thanks for posting.
AntoniaJames December 10, 2009
This looks heavenly! I have about ten pounds of Fuji "uglies" (the ones that look like you just got them off the tree in your backyard, not at the store . . . . . . but if you're cutting them up anyway, who cares?!!) from the Farmers' Market, that I've been too busy to do anything with. You've just provided the BEST solution! Thank you so much for posting this!! I'm making this over the weekend, and plan to use every jar as a lovely gift to myself. ;o) P.S. I think I'll use some good cider vinegar instead of lemon juice, just to see how it tastes. Stay tuned . . . . .