homemade Applesauce

The changing of the leaves that signify the start of fall remind me of Saturdays spent touring the apple orchards in Southwestern Wisconsin as a child. On a recent trip back home to Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to experience the fall foliage that I have longed for for the last 4 years since moving to Southern California. During that trip, my sister, mother and I made a stop at a local orchard on the way to my grandparents' home to do some fall baking. When it was all said and done we had 6 apple pies, a pan of apple crisp and a pot of applesauce.

Since coming home from that trip we have begun to regularly receive apples in our bi-weekly CSA box. This inspired me to get back into the kitchen using apples. I have to admit that not all of my cooking endeavors involving apples have been successful. In fact, my first attempt at a pumpkin-apple pie was mediocre at best. That's one recipe that I'm going to continue working before sharing. I did, however, have better luck with the applesauce and an apple pancake that is to die for!

Homemade Applesauce Ingredients

6 apples (Jonathan, Jonagold, Pink Lady or see apple variety chart for variety best uses), peeled, cored and cut into 1½-inch chunks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup sugar (this will vary depending on the sweetness of your apples)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
pinch salt
¾ cup water
¼ cup apple juice - Its best to opt for a high quality juice, I prefer the Simply Orange brand since there is no added sugar or preservatives. You can also omit the juice and use 1 cup of water.

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

1. Mix apples, lemon juice and zest, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in saucepan. Add water and apple juice and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Apples will begin to breakdown after about 20-30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. If you prefer a smooth applesauce process through a food mill or with an immersion blender. If you prefer your applesauce chunky (as I do) mash against the side of pan with a wooden spoon or with a potato masher. Serve warm or cold on its own, or alongside pork or with a scoop of ice cream.

After making the applesauce I still had some apples left and had recently seen a recipe for an apple pancake that I was dying to try! This will easily serve 4 or more (2 if you are greedy), especially if you add it to a breakfast or brunch spread.

German Apple Pancake

Apple Upside Down Pancake

Apple Upside-Down Pancake Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3-4 large apples, peeled, cored, quartered and cut into ½-inch slices
¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Apple Upside-Down Pancake Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 500°F and move rack to upper-middle position. Whisk together in large bowl flour, sugar and salt. In separate bowl whisk together egg, half-and-half and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until smooth.
2. Over medium-high heat melt butter in a 10-inch nonstick (ovenproof) skillet. Add apples, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook about 10 minutes until apples are golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
3. Pour batter in skillet over apples, starting around the edges and then over all the apples. Add skillet to oven and reduce oven temperature to 425°F. Bake until edge of pancake is brown and rises just over the skillet, about 16~18 minutes. Using a heatproof spatula loosen pancake edges and invert onto a large plate or serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and cut into wedges.

16 Responses to “Homemade Applesauce and Apple Upside-Down Pancake”

  1. GeraNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Gretchen!

    Quite sinful for a breakfast :) the pancake can fit perfectly very well every time – every where as a delicious dessert!
    So neat recipe to try, thanks for sharing!

    Gera .:. sweetsfoods

  2. chrisNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Gretchen,

    Just found your blog by googling “applesauce”…
    Great post, writing and evocative photos – going to be making your applesauce later and trying to get outdoors but tempted to go deeper into wabisabi bratwurst, damn, too many things to do today…

  3. foodphotoblog.comNo Gravatar Says:

    Wow that looks amazing! Possibly bake a little cheddar cheese on top?

  4. KatieNo Gravatar Says:

    Apple desserts are my favorite time of year and that looks delicious! It sounds like a wonderful fall treat.

  5. Janet RoseNo Gravatar Says:

    WOW! Looks and sounds delicious!

  6. Janet RoseNo Gravatar Says:

    Looks and Sounds delicious.

  7. JudeNo Gravatar Says:

    The pancakes looks perfect. Reminds me of tarte tatin.

  8. Gretchen WilliamsNo Gravatar Says:

    I wouldn’t have it anyway but sinful ;) Not sure what it is but I have recently developed quite the sweet tooth!

  9. Gretchen WilliamsNo Gravatar Says:

    I know what you mean, only gets worse this time a year, not enough time in the day. Did you have a chance to make try the recipe out? How about hiking? Where do you typically go?

  10. Gretchen WilliamsNo Gravatar Says:

    I hear you on the cheddar cheese. I was just telling Fumi about that and he thought I was crazy! We’ll have to hit up Julian soon for some famous apple pie and wine tasting.

  11. Gretchen WilliamsNo Gravatar Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m hoping to one day perfect the Pumpkin-Apple Pie recipe. A little secret…I’m working on a Pumpkin Cheesecake and Apple Cheesecake recipe that I’m hoping to share soon.

  12. Gretchen WilliamsNo Gravatar Says:

    @Janet Rose
    IT IS! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

  13. Gretchen WilliamsNo Gravatar Says:

    Speaking of tarte tatin, I’m having some tomorrow night. Part of the company holiday party menu – can’t wait!

  14. chrisNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    I made the sauce and it rocks! When I get a moment I’m going to post my dish – solomillo al oporto with Gretchen’s applesauce
    Never did make it out, not even to the local park. Further afield here (I live in Lleida, Catalonia in the north of Spain) are the Pyrenees, but I rarely get the opportunity to get there…

  15. Carolyn JungNo Gravatar Says:

    Homemade applesauce is no comparison to the store-bought stuff that’s been sitting on the shelves for who know’s how long. And homemade couldn’t be any easier to do. I hope this inspires more people to make their own. Yum!

  16. Fumi MatsubaraNo Gravatar Says:

    @Carolyn Amen!! Thanks for stopping by. I sure would like to try your Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Marmalade a try!

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