There's nothing like the smell of homemade applesauce wafting through the house on a cold winter day. It's easier than you think and MUCH better than commercially prepared versions.
The trick is to use older apples. If you use fresh ones, they are especially crisp and take considerably longer to cook down.
When we seem to be collecting older apples in the bottom bins, I make a batch of fresh applesauce. It usually disappears in a day or two.
The recipe changes, depending what we have on hand but this time around we had 2 different types of apples---Granny Smith & Gala. The Gala is pretty sweet, so we didn't require as much sugar as usual. If you are using tart apples but prefer a sweet sauce, be sure to use the full amount of sugar/substitute.
Our recipe is for a thick applesauce. For a thinner version, be sure to add more water or juice to the mix.
- 2 bags of apples washed, cored & peeled, netting roughly 10 cups diced apples (sprinkled with one tablespoon lemon juice to prevent premature browning).
- 1 cup water (apple juice can be used if you reduce added sugar).
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar----or equivalent substitute
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (if unavailable, sprinkle a pinch of clove or use a splash of vanilla).
Combine all ingredients in a pan & bring water to a boil. Simmer until softened on low-medium heat (this batch took over an hour but was larger than usual).
Stir occasionally until apples are fork tender.
Cool & refrigerate in an airtight container.
* If you prefer a consistent texture or are making this recipe for toddlers, puree in a blender or food processor after your apple mixture has cooled.*
If you're a crock pot queen, mix ingredients & set on low for up to 6 hours.
I let mine cook on the stove while I'm prepping & cooking dinner and cleaning up my mess. By the time everything is done, I have dinner on the table and the sauce is cooling for dessert.