My grandparents were uprooted by the war. Opa was in the military and sent word to my Oma to leave their home immediately. The gates were closing and he did not want the family on the east side of wall. They lost communication with each other for a long time. They were finally reconnected in Regensburg. Post war time was difficult. Opa had to hurry and get land and building materials by a certain date or they would not be able to settle in the city. He managed it and built a home. It is the same place my uncle lives today. Apple trees are on that piece of land. It is because of all of what I’ve written in this post so far and more that I made German Applesauce.
Apple trees are everywhere in Germany. Well, for sure in the southern part. I think most everyone plants at least one on their property. I remember seeing countless trees with apples on the ground all over the countryside when we were there last October. There are so many apples. Along with it comes cooking with them and making dishes such as the very popular apple strudel. Another one, of course, is applesauce.
Why did I make German applesauce? It started with Sunday Supper announcing the theme of Grandparents Day. Deciding what to make was difficult. I only have a two recipes from my grandparents and I’ve already shared them. First is Dad’s Cornbread that my dad learned how to make from his dad. The other is German Potato Salad that my mom learned from her mom. My dad’s mom could not boil water. My mom’s dad passed away when I was little and I do not even know if he cooked at all. So I had to find inspiration from somewhere or something else.
My inspiration came from a cookbook. It is one I found on a trip to Germany over 20 years ago, Bavarian Cooking (Amazon affiliate link). I looked through it and saw a recipe and thought about those apple trees on my family’s land. I wished I could be there now to make it with the apples from those trees.
How is German Applesauce? It is made in an old-fashioned way with only apples and lemon. You simply quarter apples, remove the stems and crowns (leave the cores), and cook them with a half of a lemon in water until they are soft. Then you press the apples through a sieve. The old method takes a little elbow grease. It is worth it because it gives it a wonderful texture. It’s not completely smooth nor is it chunky. Oh, and Germans serve applesauce hot or warm. It is not served cold.
Do you celebrate your grandparents on Grandparents Day? My fellow Sunday Supper tastemakers certainly do. Scroll down to see a list of recipes either from or inspired by their grandparents. Be sure to visit each one to read the story behind the recipe too. Oh, and go to my Crustless Creamy Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake post to read my mom’s story about my family in Germany during and after WWII.
- 3 pounds apples your favorite variety
- 1/2 lemon
Wash apples and remove stems and crowns. Do not remove the core. Cut apples into quarters.
Place apples and lemon in a large soup pot. Add about 1 inch of water to the pot.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until apples are soft, about 25 minutes.
Press apples through a sieve in batches, about 3 apple quarters at a time. Discard skins and seeds.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
German Applesauce made the old-fashioned way with apples and a touch of lemon. In Germany, it is traditionally served warm as a side dish.
Family recipes hold memories. The stories behind them are what makes them so special. Take a look at these by Sunday Supper tastemakers celebrating their grandparents:
Sweets that are the Sweetest
- Buttermilk Pie by Feeding Big and more
- Chocolate Chip Banana Cake by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chocolate Covered Cashews by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- German Applesauce by Magnolia Days
- Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie by The Freshman Cook
- Grandmas Raisin Bread by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Homemade Brotchen by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Irish Brack (fruit loaf) by Caroline’s Cooking
- Laura’s Old-Fashioned Prune Cake by Palatable Pastime
- Nana’s Million Dollar Cake by The Crumby Cupcake
- Nanny’s Tea Cakes by Whole Food | Real Families
- Nanny’s Raisin Filled Cookies by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pop Pop’s Peanut Butter Fudge by Runner’s Tales
- Pumpkin-filled Cream Puffs by Brunch with Joy
- Summer Peach Cake by Pies and Plots
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake by The Redhead Baker
Savory Meals with Special Memories
- Busia’s Barbecue Sauce by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Gram’s Cajun Rice Dressing by Food Lust People Love
- Grandma’s Greek Salad by FamFriendsFood
- Grandma’s Polish Meatballs by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Grannies Clam Dip by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Individual Breakfast Fritattas with Vegetables by Delaware Girl Eats
- Nunney’s Super Mac N Cheese by Momma’s Meals
- Portuguese Stove Top Pork Roast by Family Foodie
- Potatoes Stroganoff by Cookin’ Mimi
- Shepherd’s Pie Quebec Style (Pate Chinois) by Curious Cuisiniere
- Taco Pie by Food Done Light
- The Best Boiled Peanuts by 30A Eats
5 Tips for Preserving Family Recipes and a Grandparents Day Tribute by Sunday Supper
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Saturday 8th of June 2019
I will make this recipe from now on. I grew up in a German family and we poured cream over warm applesauce. So good. Also poured it on to warm pudding, any kind of cake and on warm rhubarb sauce. What’s not to like about that!!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
Friday 18th of September 2015
I love your grandparents story! So cool that you get to have stories like that--and this applesauce looks like simple perfection!
Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook
Thursday 17th of September 2015
I love the texture of your applesauce - looks like all that effort definitely pays off.
Monday 14th of September 2015
I love applesauce. I also love your story about your Oma and Opa. My grandparents are from Germany also. My grandfather was in the war and was in a concentration camp for a couple years. I have the only letter he ever wrote my Oma.
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
Monday 14th of September 2015
Sounds delicious, and I do so love grandparent stories, Renee!