Crisp fall mornings with the warm smell of apples wafting through the air is a favorite childhood memory. At least once or twice a year whenever apples were their freshest and cheapest my parents would get a bunch and go make homemade chunky applesauce. Best served warm, it was almost like apple pie when spooned onto graham crackers. It’s a much different experience than anything you could get from the store and tasted more like apples and less like sugar (I can barely stand sweetened applesauce it’s just too much!).
When Hayley and I went shopping last week, I kept my eye out for something fall friendly for this week’s recipe that was also still relevant to where my blogs are at on a skill level. When we saw apples were finally in mass and cheap I knew exactly what to do. Something warm for the season and delicious, homemade chunky applesauce! Not only that, homemade chunky caramel applesauce. Adding this caramel sweetness really elevates the flavor without covering up the apples.
I use Gala apples as they have a great flavor and also breakdown to just the right consistency once cooked. Other contenders would be honey-crisp, golden delicious, or even granny smith if you prefer extra tartness. Really, find your favorite apple and work from there, just know that results may vary depending on each apple’s firmness and flavor.
Probably the least fun thing here is peeling and coring your apples. You’ll probably want to use a nice sharp paring knife over a peeler. Apples are too waxy and peelers just seem to slip before I can get a good amount of skin off. It can take some practice but once you got it down, peeling with a paring knife will just take about a minute or less an apple.
As each apple gets peeled make sure to put it in a big mixing bowl filled with water and lemon juice (about a tablespoon of lemon juice) this will prevent the apples from browning (oxidizing) while you work through them. Then with the same idea, as you begin to dice the apples, keep tossing them with lemon juice (about another tablespoon total) to prevent browning. This should not affect the taste too much so don’t worry.
After your basic chunky apple sauce is made, we have to turn it into chunky caramel applesauce. So of course we need a caramel sauce. I totally forgot to take pictures of the caramel sauce so hopefully my description is thorough enough. Basically once everything is mixed together; you want to boil it enough that it holds together, is smooth and thick yet pourable. We basically want the sugar dissolved enough to not add a grittiness to the apple sauce.
Once that’s done just gently mix it all together and you will find a divine, warm fall creation that is nothing but delicious, and heart warming. Top with a bit a cinnamon, spoon onto graham crackers or eat just as is. There is no wrong way about it, Just enjoy!
Chunky Caramel Applesauce
Warm, sweet, flavorful harvest dessert or snack!
- 15 gala apples
- 2Tbs lemon juice
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2tsp water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Step 1 Prepare large mixing bowl for peeled apples. Fill with water and add 1 Tbs of lemon juice and mix.
- Step 2 Peel apples and place in lemon juice/water bath.
- Step 3 Take a large 4 quart stock pot and add remaining lemon juice. Begin to core and dice apples, adding to stock pot as you go. Stir after each apple to coat apples in lemon juice.
- Step 4 Once all apples are diced put stock pot on stove over medium heat and stir every five minutes for 30-45 minutes. When apples are soft begin to breakdown into a sauce they are finished (the apples will cook down significantly).
- Step 5 When apples are finished cooking begin to prepare caramel sauce.
- Step 6 Melt butter in 1 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add Brown sugar, salt, and water.
- Step 7 Mix until mixture begins to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until mixture looks smooth and slightly thickens.
- Step 8 Immediately remove from heat and stir into applesauce.
- Step 9 Serve warm and enjoy!