The Sunday Recipe: Vanilla Applesauce



This past week my munchkin and I were sick with the stomach flu and I discovered I had none of the recommended B.R.A.T. diet in the house for recovery. (Yeah, you don’t want to be running out to the store with the stomach flu.)

For those who don’t remember, B is for bananas, to which I am allergic. R is for rice, but apparently only white because the bran in brown can make matters worse. A is for applesauce, which is generally eaten as whole apples in our house. And T is for toast, but again only white bread which I rarely eat because it just doesn’t like me.

So, we had apples. Luckily, I’m well acquainted with a little kitchen magic to turn them to sauce. It’s a handy trick to master. My mother taught me years ago to add a teaspoon of butter and a bit of vanilla to please the young palate. I will venture to suggest that if you don’t do dairy, a teaspoon of any neutral kitchen oil will work.

Fat content, even a tiny bit, is a major trick in many recipes to make the tastes hit your palate in a very different way. It’s why just a touch of cream in coffee can make a big difference.

So many recipes use sugar but we’ve never found it necessary. We ate a couple bowls of applesauce today and I asked my daughter if she would call it sweet or sweet-tart. She said, “sweet!” There you have it.

One of the nice things about applesauce is it’s pretty forgiving, use what you have and just enough water to keep the apples from sticking to the pot. Make a big batch or a single apple. It’s all good.


  • 6 medium apples (Northern Spy or Granny Smith preferred. Other tart varieties will do.)
  • Water to cover the bottom of the pot.
  • 1 teaspoon butter or neutral oil such as light olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)


  1. Peel, core, and chunk up the apples into a medium pot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Maybe 1/3 cup.
  3. Bring the water to a quick boil.
  4. Stir and cover the pot.
  5. Turn the heat to low.
  6. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. If the apples aren’t soft, give them a little longer.
  8. Mash the apples.
  9. Stir in the butter or oil and vanilla.
  10. Serve warm or chilled.
  11. Enjoy.

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