Johnny Applesauce Recipe Inspired By Johnny Appleseed

Posted on: October 17, 2019   |   Posted in: Food & Drink, Near Saugatuck, Things To Do In Saugatuck

man with a beard next to a tree with a lot of ripe red apples on it

can of Virtue Cider next to a pint glass full of cider next to a red apple next to a plate of cinnamon sticks on a wooden counter with a couple of fall leaves under them all

10 hands outstretched coming together in a circle of sorts, and holding ripe apples freshly picked, a few in each hand

a brown goat, a white goat with a black face and a black goat all with horns next to a fence and standing on hay

red ripe apples on an apple tree in an orchard, closeup with a blue sky in the background

person in Crane Cider Fest tee shirt holding a whole pie with brown crumbles on top

Wickwood Fall Exterior with beautiful landscaped gardens, white flowers, yellow mums against a white buliding and a sign that says Wickwood Inn Bed & Breakfast next to the lightpost




It’s Time For Our Johnny Applesauce Recipe, Johnny Appleseed & All Things Apples Around Saugatuck!

Our Johnny Applesauce recipe is the perfect recipe to share during the fall apple harvest. This time of year the familiar phrase “As American as apple pie” has special resonance for folks here in Saugatuck, Michigan. You may already know that the United States produces more apples than any other nation, but did you know that Michigan ranks third nationally in apple production?

Our nation owes much of its abundance in apples to John Chapman—fondly known as Johnny Appleseed—who spent half a century encouraging apple production by planting apples seeds and selling and donating apple trees to early American settlers. 

Today, many of Johnny’s apples are experiencing a renaissance, growing in orchards across the country: Ginger Gold, Gala, MacIntosh, Golden Supreme, Blondee, Empire, Cortland, Jonathan, Honey Crisp, Red Delicious, Fuji, Crimson Crisp, Mutsu, Northern Spys, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Cameo … these are just some of the varieties that can be picked in the orchards minutes away from Wickwood Inn.

And, in true Saugatuck style, the harvesting of apples is cause for many special events and celebrations!

“Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me.”
~ The Andrews Sisters, 1940

Virtue Cider | A visit to Virtue Cider is one of our happy places! We love the fantastic events and parties they put on … all. year. round. No matter when you plan your getaway to Wickwood Inn, Virtue Cider is open and will happily introduce you to their amazing array of European style ciders made only from Michigan apples. You can order a flight and taste the tantalizing varieties of their bottle-to-branch ciders, or you can simply grab a pint of your fav. Here’s a few of the upcoming special events at Virtue Cider in nearby Fennville:

  • Apple Pressing Party | Learn how to press apples and then sample the cider magic that results from your efforts. Perfect.
  • Family Farm Tour | Icelandic Sheep Forever! Tour the farm. See the animals. Drink the cider. What could be better?
  • Cider, Cheese, and Pie Pairing Class | 3-4 course food & cider pairing to inspire ideas for your Thanksgiving or holiday gatherings, ending with pie. Yes, please!
  • Spooky Trail Walk | Be brave and discover the haunted trails at Virtue Cider with a tour guide just after dusk.
  • Halloween Pre-Parade Party and Photo Booooooooth | Dress in your Halloween best for the annual costume contest ahead of the Douglas Halloween Parade!
  • Private Tasting For Two | Allow us to schedule you a private tasting and tour at Virtue. You’ll have fun learning and tasting!

“Up until prohibition, an apple grown in America was far less likely to be eaten than to wind up in a barrel of cider.”
~ Michael Pollan

Crane’s U-Pick Orchards & Corn Maze | Nothing is more idyllic than a Sunday afternoon picking apples at Crane’s. The setting is gorgeous, the apples … sweet, tart, crisp, and delicious. If spending time out amongst the apple trees was not enough … the Crane family also spends a ton of time and creative energy crafting their 20-acre corn maze. Why? So their customers can have even more fun when they visit! When you’re finished picking bushels of apples, head into the Pie Pantry!

Crane’s Pie Pantry ~ Restaurant & Winery | Located on the 100-year old fruit farm, this pantry serves terrific homemade food in a unique country setting. Sandwiches, soups, salads, Crane’s famous Michigan fruit pies, crisps and strudels, apple dumplings, cider donuts, breads, preserves, gelato, sundaes, hard cider and fruit wine. The locals’ favorite Schrock Brothers are next up on the live music line-up, but be sure and check who’s playing when you come to town.

McIntosh Cellars | A wonderful selection of wines that are made and bottled on the property. With a focus on traditional Olde World Style Hard Ciders and Iced Apple Aperitif, this is an easy place to relax your afternoon away. Featuring live music, mimosa bar, and pizza & pint night … there’s always fun to be had at McIntosh Cellars!

Whew … all this talk about apples has made us hungry!

“Every thought is a seed.
If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.”
~ Bill Meyer

Time to get out the Johnny Applesauce recipe and make a batch of applesauce. It’s one of our all-time-favorite recipes from The Silver Palate Cookbook … on second thought, better make it a double!

Johnny Applesauce Recipe

A fresh and chunky apple compote, Wickwood’s Johnny Applesauce is named in honor of the man who became a legend. It is delicious hot or cold, and is equally at home as dessert or as a tart accompaniment to pork and game entrées.


  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • 7 medium-size Granny Smith or other firm, tart apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 c good French Sauternes
  • 6 tablespoons red currant jelly
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)


  1. Mix half of the water and half of the lemon juice together in a bowl.
  2. Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1 1/2-inch irregular chunks. As you cut each apple, drop the pieces into the water to prevent discoloration.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan with a heavy bottom, combine the remaining water and lemon juice, the sugar, and the Sauternes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add the apple chunks. Partially cover and cook gently until the apples are just tender; the apple chunks should remain whole.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a bowl. Add the currant jelly and cinnamon sticks tot he syrup remaining in the pan. Set over medium head, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, amd cook util the syrup is reduced by one third. Stir in the lemon zest.
  5. Pour the syrup over the apples. Stir in the walnuts and raisins if you use them. Serve our Johnny Applesauce recipe warm; or cool, cover and refrigerate.

6 portions

Taste Our Johnny Applesauce Recipe At The Inn!

Celebrate the bounty of the season with us!  Try Johnny Applesauce or any number of apple recipes at our downtown Saugatuck bed and breakfast. Join us at Wickwood Inn for remarkable food, luxury accommodations, and the extra-special touch that comes because we care. Hope to see you soon!

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