Monday, November 11, 2013

Grandma Rosie’s Applesauce

Perfect Pairing:  Apple peeler


I have mentioned before that I am a straight up snob when it comes to a few food items like potato salad, apple pie, and applesauce.  It is safe to say growing up I never had store-bought applesauce because we always had Grandma Rosie’s Applesauce in the freezer.  Now I can’t eat the store-bought stuff.  It just doesn’t compare.  The only reason I would ever buy it is to use in a baking recipe.  I’m an applesauce snob and I own it.

My family has been making this recipe for years, definitely longer than I have been alive.  I have memories of both of my grandmas peeling apples in our kitchen making giant batches of applesauce to stock the freezers for the year.  Nowadays my mom makes it each fall.  Her grandchildren LOVE it.  I think one of my nephew’s first words was abblesauce.  It was so flipping cute.  We would make him say it over and over.

What makes this recipe so special is the addition of red hot candies and a touch of vanilla.  The red hots turn it a fabulous pink color and add a touch of cinnamon flavor. 

My mom has applesauce making down to a science.  Usually we use apples that have been picked at a local orchard or in our backyards.  My grandma Rosie picked the apples that were used in this batch of applesauce.  How cute is she?

Since the apples came from a backyard they are not exactly beautiful or clean.  We soak them in the sink with a little bit of vinegar.  



We usually use yellow/golden delicious or johnalicious.  You want to use the baking variety apples rather than the tasty eating varieties like honeycrisp or fuji.


Next up is peeling the apples.  Of course you can use a hand peeler, but if you can get your hands on an apple peeler, you are golden.  This makes the process go really fast.  


My mom got her peeler from Pampered Chef, but I know they are available at Williams Sonoma and similar cooking stores.  They are pretty cheap, usually around $30.  Totally worth it if you are going to make homemade applesauce a tradition.  We also have marathon apple pie baking days.  I think the record was about 20 pies.  It definitely comes in handy!


It can get a little sticky and messy, so mom discovered latex gloves are a welcome addition.


Once the apples are peeled, bad parts removed, cored, and quartered they go into a big pot with a heavy bottom with a small amount of water.  If you use a thin aluminum pot they can scorch easily.  


The apples are cooked down until they are soft, then you add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and red hots.


Once it cools you can transfer it to freezer containers and store in the freezer for up to a year, maybe more, probably more. 


Grandma Rosie’s Applesauce

Grandma Rosie


·        16 cups peeled, cored and quartered apples (this is about 24 small to medium apples)
·        ¼ cup water
·        1/3 cup sugar
·        ½ tsp cinnamon
·        1 tsp vanilla
·        ¼ cup red hots candy


Peel the apples and remove any bad spots, cut into quarters (if they are small, or eighths if they are large apples), core and toss into a measuring bowl until you have 16 cups, or 4 quarts.

Place a large pot with a heavy bottom over medium heat, add the quarter cup water.  Pour in the apples, cover and cook until the apples are soft.  This will take about 30-45 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Once the apples are soft break them up with a wooden spoon until you have the desired consistency.  My family likes it to have big chunks of apples.  Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and red hots candy.  Stir to combine.  The candy will melt into the applesauce and turn it a lovely pink color.  Cool and store.  It keeps really well in the freezer.


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