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Apple Sauce

A great kid-friendly dish that small hands can easily help prepare.
a bowl of apple sauce on a rustic cutting board
  • Yield 4-6 servings
  • Prep Time 10-15 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 to 35 minutes


  • 4 pounds cooking apples (try a blend of varietals for the best flavor; I like to mix Golden Delicious with Spartans or Winesap – the superb balance of tart and sweet, with a full-in-the-mouth texture, is amazing).
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar, honey or real maple syrup (add more for seasoning, if needed)


Wash, core and quarter the apples, but try to leave the skin on for body and flavor.
Zest and juice the lemon, adding both to a large saucepan with the apples and cinnamon.
Cover and cook slowly over medium heat, mashing occasionally for 30 to 35 minutes.
Purée through a food mill, then return apples to the pan. Add the sweetener to taste while simmering slowly.
Cook until texture is thick enough to hold shape firmly in a large spoon. Add the vanilla. Use as a condiment for grilled pork or chicken, in apple desserts like cakes and charlottes, or for just old-fashioned spoon eating.

This recipe originally appeared in “Good to the Core: Apples” in the September 2004 issue of Experience Life.

Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern is an Emmy and four-time James Beard Award winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate.


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