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Grown-Up Applesauce

Yield: Yields about 1 quart.

Vanilla bean and a splash of brandy lift this elegant sauce out of the realm of nursery food. Delicious warm or at room temperature, it’s great as a snack on its own, and it makes a nice filling for a blind-baked pastry shell or for crêpes. Spoon leftovers over French toast. I like to make this sauce with Macouns, or a blend of mostly Braeburns with one or two Golden Delicious.


  • 8 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (roughly about 1 inch each)
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. brandy

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1/2 cup serving
  • Calories (kcal) : 130
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 40
  • Fat (g): 4.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 0
  • Carbohydrates (g): 24
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 0


  • Put the apples, butter, and water in a heavy saucepan. Tuck the vanilla bean in among the apples, cover the pan, set it over medium heat, and simmer until the apples are completely tender and have cooked to a rough purée, stirring them gently from time to time, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the sugar, stir, and continue cooking uncovered for a few minutes to let the sugar dissolve. Taste the sauce for sweetness; it should be tart-sweet (this is grown-up applesauce, after all), but if you want it sweeter, add more sugar. Stir in the brandy and simmer a few minutes more to cook off a little of the alcohol. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. I like to leave the vanilla bean in the applesauce to steep; remove it before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

The applesauce can be refrigerated for up to a week.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • JBoers | 09/30/2009

    Excellent and the way apple sauce should be. Even the kids loved this

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