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19 November 2015

Effortless Applesauce

I’m biased, but who’s going to know how to make applesauce better? Mott’s, or someone who’s got her own apple tree? Plus, at Thanksgiving, it quiets the large crowds of grandkids.

Bird Haven Farm Applesauce

Makes about 3 cups
Takes about 15 minutes active time, 45 in total

An applesauce recipe that converts even the most reluctant applesauce eater. It tastes like the filling of grandma’s apple pie. But healthy. Easy to make. Honestly effortless. For the most interesting taste, use a variety of apples*, if available. If not, use what you can get!

3 pounds apples, peeled and cored (about 8-10, depending on size)
1 cup water or fresh cider for a richer flavor
1/3 -1/2 cup sugar, honey or stevia**
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of lemon rind after finished cooking

Peel and core apples and cut into quarters. In a large heavy saucepan over low heat, add the apples, then pour the liquid over them. The fresh cider will give the apples a richer flavor than the water. Add remaining ingredients except lemon rind. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the apples are very tender. They should fall apart easily. Uncover once they are tender, and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about another 10 minutes. Add lemon rind. Mash with a potato masher or fork until coarse and chunky. Or, if you want no texture, puree in a food processor or blender.

The applesauce can be stored in the refrigerator for many days. I freeze batches and treat myself throughout winter, when I want a dessert that is not overly sweet.

*A note on apples. Which varieties of apples should you use in applesauce? You should choose apples that are sweet, like Gala, Cameo, or Fuji. If you go for something like a Granny, you’re going to get a sour applesauce. Epicurious created a visual guide to apples you might see.

**A note on sweeteners. If you’re trying to decide which to use: Both the honey and stevia are less sweet and let the apples shine. With stevia, the sauce has a more caramel-like flavor.