Warning: homemade thick and chunky applesauce bears little resemblance to
the thin and sugar-sweetened commercially made applesauce.
We celebrated my husband’s New Year’s Day birthday over brunch with friends.This year he asked for my Blueberry Toasted Pecan Whole Wheat Pancakes with Chunky Applesauce. Having just purchased a bag of a new-to-me, high-end gluten-free flour mix, I was up for the challenge. I’d make these delicious whole wheat pancakes gluten-free.
Disappointing to have to tell you, but the pancakes were only okay. Yes, they rose nicely and yes, they held together well. But the taste and texture needed some tinkering. Hopefully before too long, I’ll have a Blueberry Toasted Pecan Gluten-free Pancake recipe to share.
From tarts to pancakes
As always, though, the Chunky Applesauce was moist and flavorful. I’ve been making this applesauce for many years. Julia Child’s French Apple Tart recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking served as my introduction to homemade applesauce. Her applesauce was luscious and so much tastier than any applesauce I’d ever eaten. As was the tart, with its layer of applesauce under the concentric circles of baked, sliced apples.
Over the years I’ve adjusted the recipe, sometimes replacing most of the apples with fresh pears. (You can find the recipe for my French Pear Tart in Fruit-Sweet & Sugar-Free.) Then, at some point, the applesauce became chunkier. This Chunky Applesauce gained new life as a perfect accompaniment for whole wheat pancakes. I usually make Chunky Applesauce without the jam or butter. However, for the special occasion of Paul’s birthday, I included both.
Seven ways with Chunky Applesauce
- As a condiment with meals.
- As a pudding for dessert topped with a dollop of yogurt.
- Alongside a wedge of strong cheese (i.e., my new favorite aged goat cheese).
- On its own with a spoon.
- As the bottom layer in a French Apple Tart à la Julia Child.
- As a topping for pancakes, waffles or toast.
- As a replacement for yogurt or sour cream (and some people even say for oil) in cakes and muffins.
Oh my, even with a number of adjustments to the pancakes, this gluten-free flour mix didn’t make it. The pancakes were better than the first time, but not good enough to want to eat them. I spoke with the company today and received a refund.
If anyone has a really good gluten-free mix they recommend, I’m listening.
For the most flavorsome applesauce, do include a tart Granny Smith apple or two. Make this naturally sweet and easy Chunky Applesauce more sophisticated by stirring in the optional jam and butter.
Thank you, Julia Child, for inspiring this recipe.
Makes 3 ½ – 4 cups Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
2-3 tablespoons fruit-sweetened organic orange marmalade or apricot jam
1 tablespoon butter
- Peel and core the apples. Cut them into ½-inch chunks.
- Place the apples, water and cinnamon in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cover the pot. Stirring occasionally, cook the apples over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until tender.
- Once tender, use a wooden spoon, a silicone spatula, a fork or even a potato masher to mash them up a bit, though leaving them chunky. Stir in the vanilla. If using, stir in the jam and/or butter. Enjoy.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator for about two weeks.