By Chef Alli

Homemade Applesauce in Baby Pumpkins

Homemade Applesauce


  • 3 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled and quartered, seeds removed
  • 3 lbs. McIntosh or Jonathon apples, peeled and quartered, seeds removed
  • Zest and juice from 2 large navel oranges
  • Zest and juice from 1 large lemon
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (½ cup)
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • baby pumpkins, tops cut off, seeds and pulp scraped out


In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, place prepared apples, juice and zest of lemon and oranges, sugar, cinnamon and allspice; cover pot and place into a preheated 350 degree F. oven. Bake for 1 – 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft. Mash with a potato masher or immersion blender to desired smoothness. 

Place pumpkins onto a greased parchment-lined baking sheet and season with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fill with prepared applesauce; place tops back on pumpkins. Bake, uncovered, in preheated 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes, or until pumpkins are tender but not mushy.

This recipe is adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and makes about 2 quarts of applesauce, enough to fill 20-24 baby pumpkins, with a little left over.  


  • Chef Alli

    Chef Alli is a wife, mom and chef. She's been stirring up a love of farm fresh cooking for more than a decade.  To see more of Alli's recipes, go to