Fall traditions: retreats and applesauce

Every year I gather with the throngs of city dwellers that need a slice of the peaceful and beautiful pastoral scene to make autumn feel complete. I pack my husband and kids in the car and we take the scenic route beyond the suburbs to the country.

It doesn't matter if I'm living in Boston, just outside New York City, or in the inner ring of the Cleveland suburbs. The need to retreat is the same.

This year we went to Chesterland, an area just east of Cleveland where trees have escaped the need for high rises and shopping malls. They stretch high into the sky, their frail yellow and orange leaves dancing to the ground as the breeze blows. It's perfect.

And every year I drink in the fresh air, gaze at the scenery, and, high on life, pick too many apples.

And so, I make a lot of applesauce, because it is the one thing I can cook that actually eats into my endless supply of delicious, yet too plentiful, apples.

I realize you can make a good applesauce that is simple, with just apples and water. However, this year I decided I'd try to make it special, so I added a few ingredients. I thought it was delicious, and so did my kids, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Falling Leaves Applesauce (named by my daughter):


  • 8 large apples or 10 smaller ones (remember, we're trying to get rid of apples here)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • Core and peel apples
  • Slice apple into eighths
  • Place all ingredients in a large pot and set over medium high heat
  • Stir occasionally to keep apples from burning on the bottom of the pan
  • When apples are softened, transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth
  • Serve warm or chilled

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