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Roasted Applesauce

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We’ve been making a whole lot of applesauce around here lately, and by far my favorite is the roasted applesauce.  When you roast the apples, rather than boil them, the sugars caramelize and the flavor intensifies, without adding any sugar.  Think roasted apples in a jar!

I like to use a variety of apples to enhance the flavor, if it isn’t an option, don’t worry about it.  I am also giving directions for making this applesauce with either a food mill or a Victorio Strainer, if you don’t have a tool that separates the pulp from the skins/seeds/stems, then peel and core your apples before you roast them, and mash or puree them after they have cooked down.

Roasted Applesauce

Select apples that are really ripe and flavorful, I have Gravensteins, Golden Delicious and an unknown variety from a wild tree.

washed apples

Wash them well because you’ll be roasting the whole apple.

chop the apples

Cut the apples in half to make sure the insides are nice and clean, this is especially important if you are using organic apples.

find the worm

And that’s why we check for worms!  Cut away any damage or heavy bruising, you want only the best parts of the apple.

Pile the apples into a roasting pan with a lid, or use a deep pan that you can cover with tin foil.

apples and cinnamon

Pour about a cup of water into the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cover and bake the apples at 400F for about an hour.  You want the apples to be falling apart and mushy.

roasted applesause

The picture below is of apples that have been boiled with a cinnamon stick, see the difference in color and texture?

boiled apples

When I make applesauce with boiled apples, I like to add fresh raspberries or blackberry juice.

victorio strainer

The Victorio Strainer is a machine that pushes the pulp through a screen and discards the seeds, skins and stems.  The strainer comes with different sized screens for working with berries, pears and even tomatoes.  You can also use a larger strainer to make a thicker sauce.

straining applesauce

This is the easiest way to make applesauce.  You could run it through a food mill instead of using the strainer, or puree it another way.

Move the applesauce to a large pot and bring to a boil.  You may need to add a little liquid to the sauce if it is too thick.  Keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn.  If you want to add sugar or maple syrup, or any other ground spices, do it as the sauce heats up.  Boiling applesauce is tricky because it bubbles like crazy and can burn.  Try your best to get it as hot as you can, because the contents of the jars need to be close to the temperature of the boiling water in the canner.

Fill the hot, sterile jars (they can be waiting in the boiling water of the canner until you are ready to pull them out) with the applesauce, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.

boiling water canner

Process 20 minutes for pints and quarts, adjust for elevations above 1,000ft.

You can make apple butter from the skins and leftover bits by boiling them in water for a few hours, then following the same directions for the pear butter.

A great big THANK YOU to my friends, Harp, who took themes beautiful pictures!  You can follow her blog at


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