Rosemary Browned Butter Applesauce


I KNOW! Just when I thought my rough mash of fall apples couldn’t be improved upon (not that I ever really tried, beyond adding a cinnamon stick or maple syrup or a vanilla bean or swapping apples for pears) – I stumbled upon this. And I know that applesauce is really a good and healthy thing on its own and there’s no need to add butter to it, but the same can be said for vegetables, and look what a dab of butter does to those. And this is made with browned butter, even. It doesn’t make the sauce greasy or heavy, just gives it that element of je ne sais quoi – a richness you’d never think to credit to butter. And the rosemary! Rosemary loves apples. I’m the sort who loves chunky applesauces and cranberry sauces and plum chutneys and the like with my roast chicken, pork and sausages. Grilled pork tenderloin with rosemary browned butter applesauce. It goes as well with thick plain yogurt or leftover turkey or a big soup spoon. Of course it freezes beautifully, so makes a great preserve to put away for the bleak midwinter without requiring canning and jarring.

This sauce has inspired me to get out there with a rake and whack down the last of the apples on the highest, most unreachable points of our tree, even though I inevitably get apples falling great distances and smacking me in the head or whacking me in the eye. This stuff is totally worth it.


Rosemary Browned Butter Applesauce

Recipe link


October 17, 2010

Although this did begin as a recipe, I didn't really follow it. The gist is to toss a couple twigs of rosemary into your apples as they simmer, then finish the lot with a bit of browned butter. But here's a loose guide.


4 lbs apples, cored and cut into chunks

1-2 cups pure apple cider or good-quality juice

2 rosemary sprigs, bashed with the back of a knife to bruise it

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup butter


1In a large pot, combine the apples, cider, rosemary and cinnamon and bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until very soft, stirring once in awhile. When the apples are easily mashed with a potato masher or fork, remove the cinnamon stick and rosemary and mash the rest.

2Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan; continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until it turns deep golden and smells nutty.

3 Stir into the applesauce and serve warm.


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19 comments on “Rosemary Browned Butter Applesauce

  1. Lauren
    October 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Oh my goodness. I could definitely go for a bowl of this. Love browned butter in just about anything :).

  2. KalynsKitchen
    October 17, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Oh yes, this sounds fantastic!

  3. Theresa
    October 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

    stop looking for new ways to fatten me up girl! 😀 This sounds so amazing. I just bought butter too.

  4. Sharon
    October 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    In answer to your tweet: I’d suggest Canadian standards, miniature. I think I saw cocktail sized burgers on here somewhere; those. Many new Canadians think Mickey D is the way they taste. Also, Butter Tarts, Nanaimo Bars. Nothing ethnic, because they know how to do that way better than we could ever.

  5. Lana in South Mountain (ON)
    October 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I have a question; we have a tree full of Russet apples. I made an apple crisp but it wasn’t juicy. Would they be successful as applesauce?

  6. JulieVR
    October 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Lana – I don’t see why not! I’ve never met an apple that didn’t make good sauce. Maybe add some cider to help it along?

  7. Tina
    October 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    FYI I was just in Costco and picked up an enamelled cast iron (think Le Creuset) Dutch oven with knobs safe to 500 degrees F for 49.99!!! My new, rich cranberry red love!!
    Have never owned a LC; decided to bite the bullet last year but couldn’t bring myself to do it since the main reason I wanted it was no-knead bread and those knobs allegedly couldn’t take the heat…

  8. Margaret L
    October 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Tina. I have a LC dutch oven and made no knead bread last month and the knob did not melt. My recipe suggested wrapping the knob in foil. Good price at Costco, as I paid 150.00 for mine a few years ago. This is the best pot to use for this bread.
    And Julie, if you’ve made no-knead bread, I would be interested in knowing if a black russian bread or whole wheat would work using this method.

  9. Sharlene
    October 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I have no words for this. It sounds so delicious!!

  10. lovetocook
    October 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Julie, you have to make rustic apple pie if you have any of those apples left: Roll out a single pie crust on parchment and place on pizza pan. Add apples, sugar, salt, flour, butter and about 3 fresh sprigs of rosemary. Fold up edges of pastry loosely around fruit and bake until browned and juicy. (No cinnamon)

  11. molly
    October 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    yes, yes, YES! I adore these flavors together, also. We usually saute wedges in the rosemary browned butter, and slurp them up by the dozens (here…

    Next time I may take my masher to the whole lot, and smash them up into slurpable goodness!

  12. Lindsay
    October 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    do you leave the peels of the apples on? I might have to look into how to properly brown my butter. this looks so delicious and so versatile — will be making some tomorrow!! thanks Julie!

  13. JulieVR
    October 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    absolutely leave the peels on! so many nutrients and much of the fibre in there!

  14. Manon from Ontario
    October 19, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Thanks Julie, one more recipe for me to try with my apples from our orchard :)

    Hmmm brown butter…I hear my voice sounding like Omer Simpson..LOL!!!

  15. Anonymous
    October 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Thanks, Margaret – good to know, as I’d like a few more pieces in different sizes…someday. My new baby is in the oven now (that sounded bad) with pulled braised beef and onions mmmm…

  16. JulieVR
    October 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Molly – BRILLIANT! So doing that!
    Tina – sounds lovely!! I don’t want to be a downer, but I’d be surprised if it was a Le Creuset for $49.99! Unless it’s a small one? There are a lot of knockoffs out there!

  17. Kate
    October 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Could you can this if you wanted to? Would it be better to just add the brown butter after opening canned rosemary applesauce?

  18. Ashley
    November 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I had a bunch of old apples in my fridge so made some applesauce today. I was going to make an applesauce loaf but now I’m thinking maybe a rosemary applesauce loaf?! Hmm.

  19. Spices of India
    March 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I am very surprised to see all this receipes.

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