Vanilla Spiced Applesauce

This year I am welcoming this crisp cooler air with open arms. I just pulled out my box of sweaters and sweatshirts this weekend and have been rocking a hoodie all weekend long. One of the things Hubby and I do every year to ring in the new season is to go apple picking. It’s become a tradition to do this with my brother and his family.

We’re lucky enough to live about 30 miles form my brother. The rest of my family is out in the Midwest where I grew up. Every year, they bring their kids and it’s fun to look back at last year’s apple picking adventure to see how my little niece and nephew have grown.

After we got home with our bag of apples, Hubby made his first request of the season for applesauce. He loves homemade applesauce and I tend to only make it in the fall. My favorite recipe to make is this Cranberry Applesauce but I was in the mood to mix things up this time around. I had a few vanilla beans in the cabinet and decided to make this Vanilla Spiced Applesauce.

Hubby enjoyed the flavor and I loved the little black specks. Vanilla beans are probably one of my favorite ingredients out there.

One Year Ago: Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce
Two Years Ago: Chicken Tikka Masala
Four Years Ago: Tiramisu Cupcakes
Five Years Ago: The Cone Method and Mussels


Don’t forget about my Power of Pink Challenge – make something PINK by the end of the month to raise Breast Cancer Awareness!

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Vanilla Spiced Applesauce

Homemade applesauce spiced with vanilla beans, anise, and cardamom.

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

8 apples, diced into large chunks
3 vanilla beans
2 whole star anise
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

Place the apples in the bottom of a dutch oven or large pan.

Slice the vanilla pods in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds from the pods with the back of a knife. Place seeds and pods in pan.

Add remaining ingredients and set over medium-high heat until the water starts to boil.

Stir applesauce mixture, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes until apples have broken apart. Use a potato masher to help mash the apples if you'd like.

Allow applesauce to cool and remove star anise pods and vanilla bean pods.

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21 Responses to “Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd”

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    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — March 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I am really very terrible at frosting/decorating cake :\ This came out way better than anything I could make!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

      Ha – I’m pretty bad too. That’s why I love putting stuff on the sides. Coconut does a good job of hiding my sloppy decorating skills.

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    Nutmeg Nanny — March 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Coconut and almond, you’ve already got me reeled in 🙂 two of my favorite flavors rolled into what looks like a moist, fluffy cake. YUM

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    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board — March 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    This cake looks so beautiful and the texture is perfect! I love curd as a filling between cake layers but i never knew the trick for preventing it from seeping out – thanks!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

      Yea, it’s definitely very helpful. Even more so when you ACTUALLY do it 😉

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    Megan — March 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    We’ve all had those cake experiences. It looks like it turned out well in the end! And it sounds delicious!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one. I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking we all need to project that all of our baking/cooking endeavors are hugely successful…

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    Ashley — March 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Regardless of any kitchen mishaps, this cake looks divine! Layer cakes always look so special, and the addition of fruit here makes me swooooon!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

      I agree. Layer cakes always look special 🙂

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    Michelle — March 22, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Oh this looks amazing. And aren’t we all our own worst critics when we bake? I can’t tell you how many times I say something is terrible and my husband looks as me like I’m crazy.

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

      I agree. At the end of the day, it tasted delicious and no one knew about all the issues I had with the cake. I did want to keep it real on the blog and not give anyone any false sense that things are always easy for me…

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    Erica @ In and Around Town — March 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I always shy away from layer cakes – yours always come out well, I need some more practice I think! Your “mistakes” are great learning points – did not know about the frosting damn, but it makes so much sense!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

      That’s why I wanted to talk about them. I definitely could have posted about this cake without mentioning any of the issues I had. I’m hoping they’ll help someone (myself included) to learn something for the next time they tackle a layer cake. Yours will definitely improve with practice. Mine surely are. I really want to make that coconut cake you just posted!

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    Shannon — March 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    i’m always hard on myself too, but you wouldn’t know by the taste i’m sure! looks absolutely wonderful, not to mention i’m drooling over the flavor combo 🙂

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

      I agree, I think we all are. I wanted to keep it real with this post in case anyone else found it to be a difficult set of recipes…

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    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — March 23, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Yum, your cake looks so delicious and I really love the sound of the blackberry lime curd!

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    Laura Dembowski — April 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I love coconut cake, and blackberries are my favorite fruit. Such a great idea to put them together. This cake is gorgeous! I would happily take a large slice . . . or maybe the whole thing 😉

    • beantownbaker — April 27th, 2013 @ 10:02 am

      Then you would definitely love this cake!

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    Kristina Koranek — August 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Could anyone post the blackberry lime curd recipe? The link is no longer working.

    Thanks!

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