Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

posted by Andrea | 01/11/2018

If you’ve ever read the Weekly Menu section of my Peek Into Our Week posts, you’ll notice that we eat A LOT of applesauce!

Every year, I can roughly 50 quarts of delicious homemade applesauce… and every year we almost run out because we eat it as a simple side dish with most of our meals.

I realize this might sound so weird, completely ridiculous, and possibly even gross to some of you, but Dave and I both grew up eating applesauce on a regular basis, and it’s something we still really enjoy.

It’s so nice to have homemade applesauce ready to go for any meal… and since I don’t add any sugar, it’s a fairly healthy snack option as well (I often put it in reusable food pouches for our kids).

However, for special occasions, like Christmas, birthdays, or other holiday, I’ll whip up a fresh batch of chunky cinnamon applesauce — with the delicious addition of Red Hots candies (although I usually just buy Cinnamon Imperials because they are cheaper!)

I always buy a few bags of the candies when they go on sale during the Christmas baking season… and I stock up on apples from our local orchard right after Christmas when they sell everything 50% off!

Since I just made this SIMPLE recipe a few times over the last 2 months, I figured it might be a good one to share on my blog. The cinnamon candies make this applesauce nice and pink, so it could be a fun addition to an upcoming Valentines meal!

I realize it might sound like a ton of work to make homemade applesauce, but if you’re just making a small batch (not canning 50 quarts) it really is fairly quick, ridiculously easy, and SO yummy!

Recipe for Chucky Cinnamon Applesauce

Makes roughly 3 cups of sauce

{print recipe}

INGREDIENTS:ย 

  • 3 pounds apples (I like using tart and crispy apples like Pink Lady, but any variety will work)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sugar (optional)
  • 2-4 T. Red Hot candies

DIRECTIONS:ย 

  • Peel, core, and dice apples (this is really the only time-consuming part, but you could use an apple slicer, peeler, corer if you have one)
  • Put diced apples and water in a large stock pot
  • Cover and cook, stirring regularly, over medium-high heat until apples are very tender (about 20 minutes)
  • Add in sugar and Red Hot candies to taste (dissolve and add more if desired)
  • Mash up any large apple chunks with a fork or a potato masher
  • Serve warm or refrigerate for later

You could also do this in a slow cooker — just make sure you check it every hour or so to make sure there is still enough liquid to prevent the apples from burning. I’d also wait to add the sugar and red hots until the apples are quite mushy.

And if you’re REALLY looking for an easy recipe, you could definitely just buy chunky applesauce from the store, warm it up to the point where the Red Hots will melt, and add a little sugar if necessary ๐Ÿ™‚

Simon (my lover of all things sweet) calls this recipe “candy applesauce” because it practically tastes like a dessert!

This warm, sweet sauce is one of my favorite treats on a cold winter day, and in my opinion, it goes well with almost any meal ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, I know, we’re weird!ย 

I’d love to know…

How many of you also enjoy applesauce with many of your meals?

Visitย my virtual recipe boxย for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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18 comments

  1. Alissa

    01/12/2018

    We recently moved to Northwest Ohio and I am so glad that you have mentioned on your blog how often y’all eat applesauce. The church we are attending served applesauce as part of a funeral dinner and I thought, “that is different” but then I also thought, “maybe they are like Andrea Dekker around here”. I went to Meijer for the first time in my life yesterday and thought, “I understand why Andrea Dekker loves this place.” The next time we have people over for supper I may need to try this recipe and see if I can impress any of them

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hahahahahah!!!
    yay for applesauce and Meijer! You are officially welcomed to the midwest ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]

  2. Grandma Ann

    01/11/2018

    This must be a Dutch Michigan tradition because I grew up on applesauce and my mom made it for Christmas with red cinnamon candy
    also.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I have a feeling it’s Dutch ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]

  3. Janine

    01/11/2018

    I made applesauce every year when my kids were little with the Victorio strainer (food mill) my mom used when I was growing up. I like to cook the apples with the peels on and then run it through my strainer. If you use a certain kind of apple, the applesauce turns out naturally pink from the peels. It’s so pretty. The problem is, I can never remember which apple turns my sauce pink so I guess. Sometimes it turns out pink if I get the right one, and other times it’s just plain old yellow. Still yummy though!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, ALL the applesauce I can is VERY pink (you can see how pink it is in the pictures of me canning applesauce in this post). I keep the peelings on, use a variety of pink apples, and run it through a food mill to get the peels out. It’s yummy and so pink (but not chunky or “cinnamony”!) I like both, this is just a special kind for special occasions!

    [Reply]

    MerryinAK Reply:

    When we make crockpot applesauce we leave the peels on and then use an immersion blender to spin out the bits of peels. Just let it cool a bit before you do it. Works really well!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    interesting. I might have to look into this because we DO have an immersion blender!

    [Reply]

  4. Jeanine

    01/11/2018

    I make a lot of applesauce at the end of summer when apples are available locally. I do not peel my apples. I wash they and cut them in quarters, take out the seeds, and cook in a little water. I add the cinnamon candy as well. I then use a colander and run the apples through it. I add the sugar after I run it through the colander. Then it goes in the freezer. I do many containers, and we eat if real often with our meals as well. It is kind of a Dutch tradition. I am not Dutch, by my husband is.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, when I can my 52 quarts of applesauce, I use a food mill — which means I don’t need to peel any of the apples!! However, when I want it to by chunky, I have to peel the apples first so I don’t have to run them through the food mill.

    [Reply]

  5. Jess

    01/11/2018

    My mother in law makes this for us every time she visits! My kids love the red colour and also the chunks. I myself have always hated the red hots, but I canโ€™t say I can actually taste them.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    My sister also HATES red hot candies and LOVES applesauce… so I didn’t tell her the candies were in this applesauce. She never said a thing and was shocked when I told her about the red hots.

    [Reply]

  6. Bonnie'sMama

    01/11/2018

    My husband and I are conservative Mennonite. He and many of our friends grew up having applesauce with every hot meal, including PIZZA! Pizza, pop, chips, and applesauce–I thought it was so weird.

    I thought the applesauce thing was from their Amish background, but I wonder if it goes back to a particular country or region like Germany, where many of our ancestors came from.

    You and Dave’s love of applesauce, combined with the Dekker name, always made me wonder if there’s some Mennonite in Dave’s background.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Dave and I are both Dutch — our grandparents and/or great-grandparents were all from the Netherlands (and souring areas). I’m not aware of any Mennonite history in either of our families — but the applesauce lovers go back many generations!

    [Reply]

  7. Ann

    01/11/2018

    I guess we’re weird, too! My hubby likes applesauce with {almost} every meal! It is a treat to add the red hots!
    Sometimes we just have cold, cooked pink apples, but dont mash them into sauce!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    we can be weird together ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]

  8. Kari

    01/11/2018

    We love applesauce at our house too. This was my second fall for canning applesauce. We don’t add sugar either, so I love that it’s such a healthy option to turn to.

    To mix it up at our house, we make rosie applesauce. I mix sugar-free cherry jello powder with the applesauce. You can use as much or as little as you want. I normally taste test when I make it because I don’t always make the same amount. But roughly, it might be about half a packet to a quart. It is something I ate at school growing up and have fond memories of.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Dave grew up with Applesauce Jello — which you make with Strawberry Jello mixed with boiling water, applesauce, and red hot candies. I never had it before, but just made it over Christmas break as Dave requested it ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]