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Homemade Applesauce and Cheap Apples

I used a recipe from Martha Stewart for the applesauce.  It’s so simple and easy to make. You can easily adjust the recipe and add cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg for cinnamon applesauce. Cooking time depends on the type of apple you use. You can use a potato masher when the apples are soft to get desired consistency. The recipes calls for one cinnamon stick. It doesn’t impart a cinnamon flavor but adds a nice subtle taste. The label on my bag of Penzey’s cinnamon sticks says: “Always use over again 3 or 4 times until spent, rinse and leave to dry in a warm place.” I had no idea! I thought I’d post that in case someone else was as clueless as me about this.


If you go to an orchard looking for apples to bake with, see if they have “pickouts”, which are apples that aren’t as pretty. That’s the best way to described it. Some may be odd shaped or have some marks on them, but they are perfectly fine to peel and cut up. The orchard we go to calls them “pickouts”; your orchard may call them something different. I bought a 1/2 bushel of Wealthy Apples for $8. Cheap! A 1/2 bushel is around 20 pounds of apples or so. That works out to 40¢ per pound. No one has ever complained about any pie, crumble, turnover, muffin, cake, or applesauce made from “pickouts.” 😀

Wealthy Apples

The paper apple bags aren’t always the greatest container for transporting apples home. Take a corner too quickly and you’ll have apples all over the backseat of your car. Not that I would know this from experience…HA HA! I have a large cooler bag that I bought from Sam’s Club. I bring that with me and put the bag of apples inside it. That way if any of the apples tip they are contained. Also, the cooler bag is sturdy so the apples won’t poke through the sides.

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  • Bazu September 14, 2006, 9:21 am

    Oh sweet, apples! I’ve always been intimidated by making my own applesauce for some reason, but I’m definitely going to try this year, along with apple butter and everything else. And I’ll definitely use the cinnamon trick- it always seems like such a waste to throw them away.

    Have you ever simmered aromatic ingredients on the stovetop to scent the house? We boil a cinnamon stick, a chai teabag, some cloves and some citrus peel and it gives the house that fall/winter/holiday scent. Mmmm.

  • vegandiva September 14, 2006, 10:48 am

    Oh yes, simmering spices on the stove is great 🙂 I’m lazy and just use the mulling spices I get from Penzey and boil it in some water. You’re right, it gives the house a fall scent. I love that! So much better than potpourri which sets off my allergies.

  • Nikki September 14, 2006, 2:14 pm

    Weird, I was getting ready to make some applesauce tonight! 🙂

    I *love* cooking with apples-I can’t wait to get a big bag and go to town!

    They just opened up a Penzey’s not far from here, I will have to check it out. I had no idea you could reuse cinnamon sticks!

  • Vivacious Vegan September 14, 2006, 7:46 pm

    I too did not know about reusing the cinnamon sticks. Very cool! I’m not usually a big applesauce person but I do love apple pies! This is such a great season.

  • K September 14, 2006, 7:54 pm

    Pick-outs, who knew they were just fine? What a deal, like 40 cents a pound!!! Nice.

    My sister, her two kids and i typically go apple picking in November here in SoCal (believe it or not!) and i’ll be on the lookout for these…

    And about the cinnamon stick being reusable, who knew? I always learn something here!

    Your applesauce deserves applause. I checked out the link to Martha Stewart. Thank you!

    I can’t imagine you having spilled apples in your car, Emmy. Hee hee. 😉

  • mikaela September 14, 2006, 9:51 pm

    Yummy chunky applesauce 😀

  • Candi September 15, 2006, 2:09 am

    Hello Miss Vegan Diva!! I was so happy you found my blog because now I can come peek in on yours! Lol!

    I loooove apple sauce! I had no idea about the sticks of cinnamon though! Well, now we are pro’s, thanks to you!

    Great idea on the “pickout” apples! I laughed out loud at your suggestion regarding driving a bit too fast around the corners! LOL!

  • pinknest September 15, 2006, 8:43 am

    but the paper bag is so cute, no?

  • vegandiva September 15, 2006, 9:05 am

    Pinknest…it’s cute until you’re trying to grab apples out from under your seat. Ha ha! Of course, most of that is due to driver error 😀