This simple, five-ingredient homemade caramel applesauce is a delicious fall indulgence!
We are swimming in apples over here! Last weekend we took Owen to a fall festival at Harvest Moon Orchard. We thought it was going to be a small town country affair with cider donuts, a pumpkin patch, and maybe a few goats for petting, but it turns out it was a massive event. We spent 20 minutes in traffic just trying to park, and when we finally got to the farm, there were bouncy castles, live bands, a beer garden, and tons of food vendors.
It was a little overwhelming, but we still managed to have a great time. After about an hour on the bouncy castles (not exaggerating) we convinced Owen to take a break and go on a hayride and a pony ride. Then he spent a long time picking out miniature pumpkins for every member of our family (“This one’s for Mommy, this one’s for Grandma…”).
We also bought a TON of apples. Mostly we’ve just been snacking on them, but I did make a batch of this simple homemade caramel applesauce. There are only five–that’s right, FIVE–ingredients. It’s so easy, I actually made it in the morning before work and school, and if you have little kids, you know how crazy weekday mornings are.
The secret ingredient is store-bought caramel sauce. It takes the place of sugar in this recipe. Of course, you could make homemade caramel sauce if you want (and more power to you if you do) but I didn’t have the time. Mom life is all about shortcuts!
Chop up some apples and toss them in a big pot with caramel sauce, a splash of apple cider or juice, and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are fall-apart tender. Then just mash or blend it to the texture you prefer. I like mine mostly smooth with a few wayward chunks. When the sauce has cooled, swirl in a bit more caramel sauce for an extra flavor boost.
This caramel applesauce is delicious on its own. It’s also great swirled into yogurt or spooned over waffles. Or heat it up and serve it over ice cream with ginger cookies on the side.
Homemade Caramel Applesauce
- 2 1/2 - 3 pounds apples I used a mix of Gala and Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and diced
- 3/4 cup store-bought caramel sauce divided
- 1/2 cup apple cider juice, or water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
In a large pot, combine the apples, caramel sauce, apple cider, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the apples are fork tender, about 25 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce to desired consistency. Cool the sauce completely. Swirl in the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel.