Chunky Baked Applesauce

NOW is the perfect time for apples. Get ’em fall fresh, and make this chunky homemade applesauce! You’ll love it straight up as a healthy snack… BUT my favorite way to enjoy it is hot out of the oven, dished up à la mode-style, with a scoop of creamy vanilla gelato. YUM!

Close up of Chunky Baked Applesauce in a serving bowl with a dish towel apple and leaves in the background

We’ve all got our funny quirks right? Those little pet peeves which others let roll off their backs. I likely inherited one of mine from my dad, who has a love of words and language.

Top down of Chunky Baked Applesauce in a serving bowl with a dish towel apple and leaves in the background

My family knows that inproper syntax or word usage can send me into a tizzy. My sister to this day still ribs me about a funny exchange we had a long time ago while out at a restaurant.

Angled shot of Chunky Baked Applesauce in a serving bowl with a dish towel apple and leaves in the background

The menu described their fruit pie as “homemade” and I immediately went on attack!

“It’s not HOMEMADE! It was made at the RESTAURANT.”

Amiably defending the usage, she said that since it was made on site, not purchased from a food supplier, of course it was appropriate terminology.

“Perhaps they could call it HOUSE made”, I retorted, “As the word homemade is certainly a misnomer.” I know, I can be exhausting! 🤣

Angled shot of Chunky Baked Applesauce in a serving bowl with a dish towel apple and leaves in the background

We still laugh about it, but in all seriousness, let’s talk about homemade for a minute. In my mind, food, ingredients, dishes, etc., fall into two categories. Ones worth buying premade at the grocery or specialty food shop, and ones that are SO worth making at home.

Applesauce falls fully under the “Definitely worth making at home” category. Slow-roasting fresh apples with spice yields an entirely different dish than what comes out of a jar. There’s really NO comparison.

(Just for the record, apple BUTTER is a totally different story! Last week I used apple butter in my cookie recipe, which when done well is great off the shelf.)

Does that mean I NEVER buy jarred applesauce? Of course not. It is a convenient snack to put in kids lunchboxes, and I usually keep some in my pantry to grab when called for as a baking ingredient.

Top down of Chunky Baked Applesauce in a serving bowl with a dish towel apple and leaves in the background

But when you’re craving something apple-y and delicious, when it’s apple season and you’ve just filled up your basket, making this homey, chunky, fall-scented, warm and comforting applesauce is totally worth it. You’ll see!

Who’s ready for some fun?

So as a reminder, here’s how it works. Watch this short 5 min. video where one of my kids helps me demonstrate a kitchen technique, then we use it to make a YUMMY recipe!

** Video will be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. This is part of the special Key Lime Kids series, designed to help families by providing entertaining and engaging activities to do at home. **

Subscribe to the full series on YouTube.

Our goal is to help as many families as possible, so please share this with a friend.

 

 

Make Ahead Healthy Mid-Week

Chunky Baked Applesauce in a blue bowl with a dish towel apple and leaves in the background
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chunky Baked Applesauce

(Adapted from Ina Garten)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds red apples such as McIntosh Honeycrisp, or Fuji, or a mix of red and green apples
  • 1 orange juice and zest
  • ½ lemon juice and zest
  • cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Peel and core the apples, and cut them into chunks. Place in an oven proof pot or baking dish and add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Check the apples and stir well. If they are not soft and falling apart easily as you stir, return to the oven, covered, and bake up to another 20-30 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then scoop into bowls and top with vanilla ice cream if having as a dessert (and / or caramel sauce and walnuts!). Otherwise let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy as a healthy snack.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you prefer a smoother texture, use a potato masher or immersion blender to crush the apples to your desired consistency.

 

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