Spicy Grownup Applesauce with Sumac

Apologies to the babies and baby food lovers of the world, but I prefer my applesauce with an adult edge - chunky, acidic, and spicy.  Spare me the bland mush, I want flavor and I want bite.  Only seems right.  After all, what could be sexier than an apple?  To add an extra touch of tartness, I prefer to punch up applesauce with sumac.  Reminds me of the sumac leaves I see while wandering the mountains on these fine crisp days, pops of sultry red punctuating the cool golds and blues of autumn.

Sumac Applesauce

Peel, slice, and roughly chunk a whole mess of tart wild apples.  Place them in a saucepan over medium heat with enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan (to prevent scorching), and let them cook down until soft.  Add cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ground and sifted sumac, black pepper, a pinch of cayenne, salt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a splash of rum.  You know what you like; taste, and trust your tongue.

Wild Things is a foraging recipe challenge, and you are invited to participate!  Got a great sumac recipe?  Send it to wildthings.roundup@gmail.com

I'm sharing this recipe with Fat Tuesday, the Hearth and Soul Hop, and Real Food Wednesday.


  1. Darn it, I should have swapped for your apple sauce.It sounds amazing from your post.

  2. Ha, I made the baby-food version for the swap in an effort not to weird people out. Still, nobody wanted it. Sigh. L told me afterward that perhaps I should have quieted peoples' fears regarding poison sumac. Maybe I'll fare better at the soup swap.

  3. Baby-food version? Does that mean that you didn't include the heavenly spices, maple syrup, and rum along with the sumac? Was it just apples and Sumac? If so, I don't feel deprived. I want the adult edgy version. Then again, can applesauce be edgy?

  4. I don't know about edgy, but it sure can be nuanced and good!

  5. WOW sumac awesome. I love sumac and this is the first recipe with it that I have seen while blogging for the last 3 months. Thanks so much. I like to make a dry rub that can be used on chicken or a light fish like tilapia. It is all ground dried spices of sumac, cumin, coriander, cardamom, black sea salt and citric acid. I did not include amounts because every one taste is different but I put them in the order of larger part to a smaller part. i.e It should be more sumac than anything and you only need a very small amount of citric acid. Also I started a blog hop called Alimentary Tuesdays It will be open all week and I would love to see this post there.

  6. Hi Leon. I've been making a lot of trout with sumac this week, but mostly just sumac, s&p. I like flavors of your blend, and am definitely going to mix some up. Why the citric acid, though? Seems like such a similar flavor to the sumac.

  7. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!


    If you have grain-free recipes please visit my Grain-Free Linky Carnival in support of my 28 day grain-free challenge! It will be open until November 2.


  8. I've never actually tasted anything with sumac in it, but your applesauce sounds really delicious. As you say, it is very grown up, but those spices would be wonderful together!! I like the addition of the maple syrup (and the rum!) too. Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  9. I think this sounds like the best applesauce ever! Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul Hop!


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