I am such a freakin’ dork sometimes. I seriously thought rhubarb applesauce was a groundbreaking idea I came up with all on my own.
It started with a couple of ragged red delicious apples sitting on the kitchen counter alongside a pile of rhubarb my mom sent home with me. I thought to myself, gee, huh, applesauce made with rhubarb would be all pink and pretty! Rhubarb! In applesauce! I’m brilliant. So I threw the apple, some hunks of rhubarb, a sprinkle of sugar, a cinnamon stick and some water in a saucepan and let it simmer awhile.
Soon, the house smelled like the best of fall and spring all rolled into one. And then my toddler and I sat down and devoured my “invention” fresh off the stove along with some warm buttered toast. Basically, heaven.
And then … I know better than to do this! … I Googled it. Yeah, rhubarb applesauce is totally a thing. Of course it is! Rhubarb and apples are amazing together. You’ll find tons of recipe out there, but I’m thinking my simple creation is the one I’ll stick with. I can’t imagine improving upon it, even if it turned out to be less than a novel idea.
As you can see, the sauce is more brown than the pink I had envisioned, but the bright, intense flavor more than makes up for it. Tart, sweet, luscious … seriously the best applesauce I’ve eaten. I want it on and with everything. I’m a fiend for it.
The applesauce was surprisingly perfect when made with red delicious apples, but the second time I made it, I used gala apples with a couple of granny smiths thrown in. I haven’t tried it with every single apple in existence, but I have a hunch it’s a recipe that tolerates most any kind. Just start out light on the sugar and then add more at the end of the process until it’s just right for you.
Try this Crock Pot version (and then turn some into granitas – brilliant!) (Washington Post) :: Make a honey rhubarb brown betty :: Whip up some rhubarb apple bread (Two Peas and Their Pod) :: Bake up a fresh loaf of peasant bread and serve a buttered slice alongside your still-warm applesauce (Alexandra’s Kitchen)
Cinnamon Rhubarb Applesauce
- 6 apples (3 pounds, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1-inch chunks)
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 4 3- inch cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar + additional sugar if desired
- 2 cups water
- 1 - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
- Add apples, rhubarb, cinnamon sticks, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups water to a large pot set over medium heat.
- When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30-40 minutes until soft and thick. If any fruit chunks remain, mash with a fork or potato masher.
- Remove cinnamon sticks. Taste for sweetness and add additional sugar if desired. Add ground cinnamon if desired.
- Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 - 4 days.