I know I’ve been going on and on about fall, I love fall, can’t get enough of fall, for weeks.  Well, I’m not done yet.  I’m savoring every moment because this gorgeous weather won’t be around much longer.  Soon the leaves will be on the ground, the air will have an unpleasant bite and we won’t linger outdoors to enjoy the rapidly disappearing sunshine.  Since Andrew was born, visits to our local apple orchard have been a yearly tradition, and they are one of my favorite things about this season.  I’ll confess I look forward to the apple cider slushies almost as much as the apples themselves :)  More than that though, we love the time together, walking (or in Andrew’s case, running wildly) through the rows of trees, picking apples to bring home.  As always, my eyes are overly optimistic as we take the largest bag the orchard offers and fill it to the brim.  Then we get home and I wonder, what on Earth am I going to do with all these apples?

Normally when we go apple picking I have all sorts of fancy things planned for our bounty like turnovers (drool) or danish.  This year though, I had nothing planned.  We went more for the sake of fun and tradition than because we really needed apples.  I also had zero time to do anything remotely involved.  A few days after picking, there was still a massive bag of apples sitting in our house staring at me, despite Andrew repeatedly grabbing one, taking four teeny tiny bites and then demanding a new apple.  Ahh, toddlers.  Anyway, I needed something quick and simple that would also use a lot of apples.  Hello, applesauce.  Such a simple, basic food that we all know and love.  It smells so wonderful while it simmers on the stove, and eating it makes me feel like a kid again.  I was tempted to add in some frozen cranberries, but in the end I opted for simplicity to let the apples really shine.  The cinnamon sticks add just a hint of warmth and spice.  Andrew asked for bowl after bowl of applesauce throughout the week until it was gone.  I’m hoping all these orchard trips and yummy fall food infuse him with tons of great memories so that he might share my love for this beautiful season.


6 lbs. apples (Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady recommended)
1½ cups water
6 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt
3 cinnamon sticks


  • 01

    Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples into large chunks (about 1½-inch pieces).  Add the apple pieces to a Dutch oven with the water, sugar, salt, and cinnamon sticks.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-heat.  Cover the pot and continue to cook at a simmer until the apples begin to break down, about 25 minutes.  Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, mashing the apples.  Remove the cinnamon sticks.  If desired, transfer to a food processor and puree until a smooth consistency is reached, adding water if necessary to thin it out.  Alternatively, simply mash with the wooden spoon for a coarser texture, adding water as needed.


  • Amy

    Mmm, I miss making trips to the orchard since we moved. Definitely one of my favorite parts of growing up. We always had bushels of apples around the house and applesauce was always on the agenda. Yum!

  • Oh man, our boys sound too much alike. Max does the exact same thing when he eats apples. It must be their short little-boy attention spans. :)

    I actually just made applesauce for the first time as well but made Blueberry Vanilla Bean Applesauce (a sugar-free version so my baby girl can eat it too!). I was so surprised how easy it was to throw together and will be making applesauce much more often now. I can’t wait to try the classic version next.

    I love your apple orchard pictures, I’ve been wanting to go for forever. What a fun family tradition!

  • Mmm this sounds super!

  • Melanie S

    Was the apple orchard a U-pick one? I have been looking for one to take my 6 year old triplets to and there aren’t any near Batesville. I’m willing to drive the hour to Indy to go!

  • Annie

    Yes, we go to Anderson orchard in Mooresville and love it. You can also go to pickyourown.org and see what is closest to you.

  • awww you have such a beautiful family & you’re so pretty! haha your daughter is adorable for trying to eat that leaf!

    i’ve been trying to get to the orchard around me, but my weekends are so full that it’s been hard :( i love this time of the year, too. and apples are my favorite fruit!

  • Lauren

    Annie, I was wondering if this would be okay to serve as a baby food. My daughter is 6 months old and starting solids (have already had carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes!) I wanted to give her apples next.

  • Perfect timing! I have a bag of apples just waiting to be made into applesauce =D

  • jen

    yum!! i’m going to try this!

    a bit off subject, but is that a moby wrap? i’m looking for a carrier for my new little man and that looks secure and comfy.

    i love fall in indiana, too!!! enjoy it extra for me :)

  • I love orchards and luckily Michigan has them in spades. So far this Fall I’ve made apple syrup, apple candy, apple caramel and baked apples but it’s never occurred to me to make applesauce…maybe I should do that next. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Annie

    For a baby I would use the same method but without any sugar or cinnamon. That’s really your call but I try to give Caroline just pure puree with water or breast milk to thin it out as needed.

  • Annie

    Yes it is, I love my Moby so much! The only bad thing is it is too warm for the summer with all the layers of fabric, but we use it a ton in spring and fall.

  • Annie, your pics are so sweet- brings back so many memories of my children at that age. My son is 19 and my daughter is 13 but every year they look forward to apple picking at the same orchard we have been going to forever. Of course, they love the pies and cakes afterwards also! I am making pork tonight and I think your applesauce recipe is an excellent side dish. Thanks for the idea! ♥

  • Such fun family memories! Great idea on the applesauce, too. Its always a hit! Our orchard lost their crop this past spring due to excessive cold temps so no apples to pick for us this year. BOO :( Now that apple cider slushy really intrigues me! Must make that soon :)

  • I don’t know what I love more… your beautiful photos, your awesome recipes, or the fact that you may have more dishes than I do. I can’t get enough of your blog.

    P.s. What type of camera do you use? And… were you always into photography or did that come with time?

  • What a great idea!

    I love that applesauce can be a snack, is perfect to pack in your lunch and pairs so well with entrees like pork chops.

  • I tried to focus on the applesauce but I couldn’t get past how beautiful your family is! Caroline is such a pretty baby!

  • What wonderful photos! My Moonbug does the exact same thing!! She takes 3 or 4 tiny bites and demands(DEMANDS)new fruit! *Sigh*… I give in, sadly… I went apple picking last fall and came back with 2 large sacks and never once did I think of turning them into applesauce! Boy do I have to change that!

  • Annie – you and the kiddos look absolutely gorgeous here – love seeing these family shots. What a great family tradition to have. I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately, but I tend to neglect apples. This sounds heavenly and I can’t wait to make a batch!

  • Elizma

    Perfect timing! My neighbor just dropped off a big bag of apples from her garden. I was thinking applesauce! Can you please let me know how you store any leftover sauce? Can it be frozen or put into jars? And how long will it keep.

  • Dana

    This recipe sounds so good! Perfect for this cold day. :)

    I go to the Anderson Orchard in Pleasant View, IN. (I can walk there in 2 minutes!) I think it is owned by the same people as Mooresville? I’m not sure. But their apple cider slushies are to die for!

  • Annie

    Thank you so much! She sure is my gorgeous girl :)

  • Annie

    Aw, thank you Krystal! I know, sometimes apples get overshadowed by pumpkin in the fall but they are so awesome I try to give them some play too :)

  • Annie

    I love to hear that your kids are still into the fall tradition even as teenagers. I hope mine are the same way. Enjoy the applesauce!

  • I love applesauce! I actually am a wife to an apple farmer, so we always seem to have something apple in hour kitchen. Your applesauce recipe looks great! Have you ever tried using honeycrisp for applesauce? I know they are a little expensive, but I don’t have to add any sweetener to the sauce (sometimes a little cinnamon if I feel like it). Also, if you are looking for a little kick in the sauce try using apple cider in place of the water.
    I love your sight and have loved every recipe that I have tried. :)

  • You can also get a really long (about 5 yds) piece of stretchy knit fabric–I sew a simple pocket on, and you can then have multiple Moby’s for a great price–they are just the best:)

    Thanks for the applesauce recipe, fall in Ohio is similar and one of my favorite seasons and this sounds just perfect:)

  • Oh such cute pictures! Homemade applesauce looks and sound great :)

  • Love that you posted about apple picking. You inspired me to start a blog (and hopefully a future business) and my first (and only so far) post was about apple picking! I would love for you to check out my blog at the above web site. I must say your beautiful photos are a bit intimidating for a newcomer like me but I love that you are willing to share where you started, it helps me to try and not be so hard on myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • You have such a beautiful family, Annie, and what a fun and special tradition to take part in each fall!! Thanks for the applesauce recipe. I was wondering if you remember where you got your pedestaled serving dishes; they are just phenomenal! I searched the FAQ’s but didn’t see it listed.

  • Annie

    Unfortunately I can’t remember where I got these particular dishes. I think it might have been Target but I’m not sure. Sorry!

  • Amy K


    You are inspiring! It is great to see another young professional continuing with their passion, while balancing work and family. I know the demands of healthcare and I applaud you for continuing this blog.

    We also go to an apple orchard every year as a family with some close friends. This year we came home with 8 grocery bags of apples. Usually, we give most of them away. However, we did not have that opportunity this year. So, I became an apple processing machine (or zombie) by the end. I did two things differently this year. I made more applesauce, some of it flavored with strawberries and some with cherries frozen from the summer. Then, we dehydrated the applesauce to make homemade fruit rolls. Since I do not sweeten my applesauce, I can’t really think of a better snack/dessert for my young kids when they ask. My 3 year old absolutely loves them!

    Thanks again for sharing! I am going to try a cupcake recipe for my little man’s first birthday this weekend. I can’t wait to see if they turn out!

  • Your applesauce looks lovely. You look lovely, you are actually glowing and your children are beautiful.

  • By all means – feel free to keep waxing poetic about fall! I live in southern GA where there really is no such thing, so I live vicariously and enjoy fall through other people.

  • lyly

    Annie, your apple sauce looks delicious. I love pix of you and yours kids. Lovely !!!

  • Annie

    Refrigerate the sauce. See the FAQ page for food storage questions. Thanks.

  • Awesome job, Annie! Looks like all your readers enjoy those photos of you and your kids as much as I do! You are really a beautiful family. :) A couple years ago, my dad, my sister and I went cherry picking near San Jose, CA and it was so fun! I should suggest it again this summer to keep up the tradition :)

  • Annie

    That sounds like a wonderful idea. I would totally go cherry picking if that were available here!

  • Maggi

    We must be a little crazy, or our apples are sweeter over here on the east coast (who knows.) We make applesauce every year, and our preferred apple is the Macintosh. No sugar, with a liberal about of cinnamon. Bar none, better than anything on the shelf at the grocery store.

  • Leigha

    Oh, and you’re a babywearing momma. I have a serious mom crush on you.

  • Annie

    My camera info and the back story on my photography journey are listed on the “About Annie” page. Hope that helps! Glad you are enjoying the blog so much :)

  • jen

    Goodness- Have never figured out the Moby Wrap:).. My husband wears our little girl Larkin (6 mo.) all the time(especially at the Farmer’s Market!) and it’s so cute. We took her to the apple orchard yesterday-she ate hay-so Caroline’s not alone! Thanks for the pictures..Larkin loved the applesauce. (Is it just me-or is feeding a baby solid food a total high chair to sink (for a bath!!) operation???

  • This post inspired me to finally have us go pick apples and try making applesauce for the first time! I didn’t use your recipe, but since I just had bought vanilla beans to make the vanilla extract, I made a vanilla applesauce. It was delicious and I loved the flavor of the vanilla coming through and mixing with the apples and the cinnamon. Here’s the recipe: http://www.thelifeofawife.com/2011/10/vanilla-applesauce.html

  • We went to the orchards last weekend and I came home with way more apples than I knew what to do with! I have to bring a treat in to my son’s school party tomorrow, but they have a no/low sugar rule so I decided to give this a shot. It turned out great!! I just used apples and the cinnamon sticks only and its great! I will definitely be making this again. My son had so much fun using the peeler/corer.