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Roasted Applesauce

The apples and sugar caramelize on the bottom of the pan as they roast, giving the finished applesauce a marvelous depth of flavor. If you don't have a food mill, core the apples before roasting; after they're cooked, puree the apples in a food processor, and strain before adding spices.

  • Servings: 8
  • Yield: Makes 4 cups
Roasted Applesauce

Photography: Laura Moss

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2007


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 pounds small assorted apples, such as Gala, McIntosh, or Fuji (about 10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine water, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

  2. Scatter butter pieces over mixture, and top with apples. Roast until apples are very soft, 30 to 40 minutes.

  3. Working in batches, pass apple mixture through the medium disk of a food mill and into a bowl. Stir in spices. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Applesauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Cook's Note

If you don't have a food mill, core the apples before roasting; after they’re cooked, puree the apples in a food processor, and strain before adding spices.

Reviews (13)

  • kcnkate 15 Oct, 2013

    Great recipe! Roasting the apples really brings out their natural sweetness and having a food mill makes easy work--no peeling, coring, or chopping required. I modified this recipe by leaving out the sugar and butter, and it was still delicious, with flavors reminiscent of apple pie filling.

  • sweepeez 27 Nov, 2011

    Scrumptious and dessert-worthy. No peeling or cutting - just throw whole rinsed apples into the pan and roast. Major flavor for so little effort!

  • loriannbrandt 3 Oct, 2011

    do you peel the apples?

  • CeciliaPrytko 17 Nov, 2010

    This has to be both the easiest and tastiest applesauce recipe ever! My kids love it and my husband says that it tastes like grandma's!

  • HeidiASanchez 15 Oct, 2010

    This quickly became a family favorite. It is easy to make and absolutely delicious. It goes great with a little vanilla ice cream if you want to serve it as a dessert to guest or just a fun family treat!

  • sweetpeainspain 6 Sep, 2010

    My family went apple picking yesterday and I used 10 assorted apples (I'm not even sure what types of apples I used) and it came out fabulously. I packed it in little lock and lock containers so I can throw them into lunchboxes this week.

  • rinalarina 11 Aug, 2010

    Applesauce cans very well. Process in a waterbath 15 mins for pint jars and 20 for quarts. As long as the lids seal (aka no flex to the lid), they are shelf stable for a couple of years.

  • roseart98 3 Oct, 2009

    This is such a great recipe but I would like to know if anyone has tried canning it so it can be stored on the self. I would like to make a large batch and keep it on hand for the holidays. Would a waterbath work here. I am new to canning but have done some jams and fruits.

  • Lytton 27 Jan, 2009

    The taste of this applesauce is brilliant. The first time I made this I did not own a food mill (which I have since purchased- a very worthwhile investment as gadgets go) and used the food processer/strain method. While the flavor was there, the consistancy was baby-food like and not terribly appealing. Simple mashing or the food mill are definitely the way to go. Just beautiful.

  • DahliaB 4 Jan, 2009

    Wow! I used 10 assorted apples that were languishing in my fridge (honeycrisp, macs, granny smith, empire...) and reduced the sugar to 4 T. (loose, not packed) and butter to 1.5 T. and still got a very rich flavor. Also, since I don't have a food mill, I just peeled and quartered the apples before cooking, then just mashed them in the baking pan with a potato masher when they were done for a more rustic sauce. Perfect! This is a serious winner--I doubt I'll ever make applesauce any other way!

  • chrisbensch 8 Jan, 2008

    This is both easy and delicious. The technique makes a small amount of butter taste like a lot. I've given is applesauce as gifts and always get requests for the recipe.

  • lauralew 13 Dec, 2007

    This is wonderful, especially warmed. I served it to guests at a simple luncheon and they raved. My spouse, who can be hard to please, also loves it. I use Gala apples.

  • msassi 2 Dec, 2007

    Delicious! Have made this now for the second time and love it. I used Gala apples the first time, and Jonagold the second time. I love the earthiness of the roasted apples along with the sweetness of the brown sugar caramel. Great with some Greek yogurt as a snack. Yum!

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