Cinnamon Applesauce + Vanilla Ice Cream

October 26, 2016

Cinnamon Applesauce + Vanilla Ice Cream by Faring Well

When I was a little girl, just shy of three years old, my grandma use to pick me up during the week to spend the night at her house. Some of my most vivid memories from that age were the ones spent with her each week. She was, and still is, a young soul. I remember going to the park with our breakfasts (she would let me eat mine at the top of the slide), climbing on the train outside the children’s museum, swimming in the backyard with my arm floaties and calling her Ursula – because of her short white hair and black bathing suit (she never minded).

Sometimes at night she would take out a huge bed-sheet and lay it on the floor in the kitchen. She would fill the popcorn popper, place it in the center of the sheet, remove the lid, and run around the kitchen with me collecting the popcorn as it popped out in every direction. We would stir big pots of macaroni and cheese on the stove for dinner, and cuddle up on the couch to watch old black and white mystery movies (or Indiana Jones) with my grandpa. And she always tucked me in at night by laying next to me and pulling out the flashlights so we could play flashlight tag on the ceiling. She never had to keep up with us kids, we had to keep up with her.

Fast forward a few years, and both my grandparents and family had migrated to Vancouver, Washington, and our bond was even stronger. On Tuesdays and Thursdays after school I would go over to my grandma’s house. I remember her giving me little chores when I wanted to save for things, like the denim Levis jacket I polished all of her silverware for – I still remember my heart racing with excitement as we walked into the store to pick out the jacket (and it was’t because of the silver polishing fumes). She use to let me bake in the kitchen while she napped in the afternoons, with total trust that I wouldn’t catch the house on fire. I wrote my first recipe book on blank printer paper sitting on the bar stool in her kitchen. Then one day, she surprised me with my first children’s cookbook.

It came with colored measuring spoons and had thick cardboard pages, bound with a large plastic spiral. I would stare at each recipe for seemingly forever. All of the ingredients were drawn out in little pictures alongside their measurements. The blueberry muffins were my favorite, especially in summer when we would pick fresh blueberries in her back yard. When fall came around, we made this cinnamon applesauce from my little cookbook for the first time. I remember mashing the apples in the pot on the stove, and the sweet smell of cinnamon filling the air. I even remember the first bowlful I dug into, completely enamored with it’s golden spoonfuls flecked with cinnamon. The scoop of vanilla ice cream would begin to melt on top of the warm applesauce, creating a pool of sweet cream at the bottom of my warm bowl. I was in heaven.

We left Washington, and I stopped making apple sauce. A part of me needed my grandma in the kitchen, and felt as if I would be doing wrong by her to make it apart from her – and a piece of me still does. After apple picking with Scott the other weekend I knew the recipe I needed to make. There was excitement and sadness battling inside of me as I mashed the cooked apples. I was traveling back in time, and my heart was longing for my grandma.  My sweet grandma who video chats with me on FaceTime, sends me text messages, comments on my Facebook, and reads all of my blog posts. I still have to keep up with you, grandma. You taught me how to love the creative process of cooking. You taught me to do what I wanted most, have an adventurous and loving heart, never care what others think, and always have fun (as a first priority). Excuse me while I wipe my tears and look up flights to Washington. I have a grandma to make applesauce with next fall.

Cinnamon Applesauce + Vanilla Ice Cream by Faring WellCinnamon Applesauce + Vanilla Ice Cream by Faring WellCinnamon Applesauce + Vanilla Ice Cream by Faring WellCinnamon Applesauce + Vanilla Ice Cream by Faring WellCinnamon Applesauce + Vanilla Ice Cream by Faring Well

Makes 6 servings. 

6 cups of sweet, crisp apples: cored and diced into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
scant 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup filtered water

ice cream
1 – 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon extract)

For the ice cream, rinse and drain the soaked cashews and place them in a high speed blender. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend on high for 45 seconds (or longer if using a standard blender) until silky smooth. Add the ice cream batter to your machine and process according to it’s instructions. Scoop churned ice cream into a airtight glass container, and place in the freezer to harden further while you make the applesauce.

For the applesauce, combine the apples and the remaining ingredients in a 6 quart pot on the stove. Toss the ingredients together. Bring the water to a simmer, cover, and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the apples cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Using a potato masher, smash the apples to your desired sauce consistency, stirring well, and covering once more to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm, topped with a scoop of ice cream. Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge, and enjoy within 1 week.

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  • Reply Marissa Koh October 26, 2016 at 3:04 am

    You weren’t the only one wiping at tears by the end of that post. Thank you for sharing those beautiful moments that you had with your grandma, she definitely does sound like a truly amazing and wonderful woman. I’m continually amazed at how much food is able to intertwine so deeply with our memories and applesauce is just one of those classics that tugs on everyone’s heart strings!

  • Reply Tori//Gringalicious October 26, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Gorgeous photos and this ice cream sounds like perfection! I love the flavors you’ve put together, YUM!

  • Reply Shelley October 26, 2016 at 4:44 am

    What fabulous childhood memories Jessie. It’s amazing, and wonderful, how food and memories are so intimately linked. I’m totally tempted to start launching popcorn through my kitchen, haha. I also love that I’m not the only crazy making ice cream in October! Happy Wednesday lady xx

  • Reply michelle @ hummingbird high October 26, 2016 at 6:31 am

    aw, this is such a cute post! made me a little teary eyed. xoxo

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout October 26, 2016 at 7:26 am

    This was so beautiful, Jessie! It made my heart feel so warm and fluttery (and maybe a little teary eyed). Those are such special memories to hold onto! I laughed out loud at the popcorn launching, she sounds like a truly special lady. Lots of love and yummy applesauce <3

  • Reply Lauren October 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Both of my grandmothers have passed away — one when I was very young and the other before I was even born — and I feel I will forever have a hole in my heart because of it. You are so lucky to have such wonderful memories with your grandma and that you still get to make more memories. Mostly, this post is just so beautiful all around, Jessie!

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha October 26, 2016 at 9:23 am

    It’s so sweet and moving your relationship with your grandma <3

  • Reply jaime ‡ the briny October 26, 2016 at 9:26 am

    what a sweet, soulful post — i loved picturing a tiny child jessie scrambling for popcorn! hope you get to make that trip to Washington soon. xo

  • Reply Joyce @ Sun Diego Eats October 26, 2016 at 10:20 am

    this might have made me a little teary / definitely made me want to Skype my grandma.

    P.S. I like that you like your applesauce chunky too!

  • Reply Terri Cole October 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    This post brought tears to my eyes as well. My grandma has been gone a long time, and I still miss her terribly. She made homemade applesauce every fall. Your words also made me smile, remembering those good times.

    And realizing that I will be making all those memories with my first grandchild, Lucy, who was born last month, brings even more joy! Thank you.

  • Reply Mo October 27, 2016 at 2:08 am

    I can really relate to missing my grandmother and also the foods i associate with her! I love apples so much!
    A very very off topic question for you: do you do something specific for your teeth? In your photo’s and on snapchat i’m always admiring your white teeth! Can you recommend something, like do you use tumeric or something else? Would love to hear from you and thanks for all the inspiration!

  • Reply Katherine @Simpole Plant Based Life October 27, 2016 at 6:00 am

    The applesauce and ice cream sound amazing, and I cannot wait to make both. But I love your heartshare story, and it’s such a lovely memory… even better because you can still make more with her.

  • Reply Katherine @Simpole Plant Based Life October 27, 2016 at 6:02 am

    *and that should be “Simple Plant Based Life” lol Early morning finger fumbles 😁

  • Reply Chelsey @ Chelsey Crafts October 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    This is lovely. I want to call my Grandma now.

  • Reply Sonia October 28, 2016 at 6:07 am

    What a beautiful post. Also wiping away the tears right now. I love my grandmother so much and always feel so happy after our weekly calls.

  • Reply Jodi October 29, 2016 at 10:04 am

    You’re not the only wiping tears now, Jessie. Probably my favorite post yet. So much love from this weepy ol’gal xx

  • Reply Jessica @Nourished by Nutrition October 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Hearing these stories melts may heart and makes me smile. You definitely have a wonderfully close relationship with your grandma and many beautiful memories that have come from it. This applesauce and post reminded me of all the time I spent with my grandma in the kitchen growing up. My grandma was and is THE pie baker. Whenever anyone comes to visit, you bet there will be a pie sitting on the table and it’s almost always apple. This dessert reminded me so much of my grandma’s pie (without the crust, of course) served with melty vanilla ice cream. Sending lots of love and happy memories your way!

  • Reply Patrice Engelbrecht October 31, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Yum Yum, can’t wait to get an ice cream maker! I’ll start with the applesauce. Loved hearing about your special Grands, thanks for sharing that special relationship with us, and as always the fabulous recipes.

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