Vanilla Chai-Spiced Chunky Applesauce (Naturally Sweetened)
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 5
A naturally sweet chunky applesauce that is infused with vanilla and chai spices. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or even dessert.
  • 5 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped or sliced (see note)
  • 1 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 slices fresh ginger
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 nutmeg (or ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  1. Place apples and apple cider into a Dutch oven or large pot. Tie the spices, except for the vanilla bean, into a neat little packet using cheesecloth and tuck into the pot. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring so the bottom doesn't burn. Lower the heat so the pot is barely simmering. Cover and cook for 45-60 minutes. Stir every so often to make sure the bottom isn't burning. If it is, lower the heat a little more.
  2. When the apples have softened, remove the vanilla bean and spice packet. (I carefully squeeze the cheesecloth to get any excess juices out.) Use your fingers to squeeze the vanilla seeds from the bean and into the apples. Mash the apples with a potato masher to make a chunky sauce. For a smoother sauce, use a traditional or immersion blender, or food processor to puree the apples to the desired texture.
  3. Yield: 5 cups
-One pound of apples should yield about 1 cup of applesauce. The recipe can be scaled up or down accordingly.
-I used 2 of each of these varieties: Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Jonathan, Honeycrisp, and Gala.
-Dry, ground spices can be used in place of the whole spices - no cheesecloth packet needed.
Recipe by Cafe Johnsonia at