Apple-apple-applesauce! Fall is here!
Okay well that may not be completely true, but I am ready! And apparently the tree outside my kitchen window is ready too! That makes two of us, and I’m going to take that as a win!
All of the kids in the neighborhood started back to school this week. I have been out of school for years now and I have no kids. My schedule is the same whether it is February of July. Yet somehow, each year when school starts back up, it is the end of my summer too. Part of me always celebrates thinking, “yaaaaassssss! I will have pool all to myself during the week to layout and enjoy my day.” But then I remember that I have barely gone to the pool all summer and now, with my 9-5 job Monday through Friday, is hardly the time to start.
So I’ll mourn the loss of summer the only way I know how… baking!
(SPOILER ALERT: not sure what to do with all of that zucchini piling up in your garden?! Fear not, I have solutions coming your way soon!)
I love to take variations on classic recipes to maintain the same great taste, but kick-up the good for you tingles. That means that in many of my bread-based baking recipes (try saying that three times fast, I dare you) I substitute in applesauce for oil or butter.
Store bought applesauce will work great and odds are that you won’t notice any difference. But if you want to take it one extra step and make your own applesauce, you won’t regret it.
Maybe you aren’t a baker? No worries. Homemade applesauce is a welcomed addition to many different foods – oatmeal, pork chops, mixed with yogurt, for dessert with a caramel swirl, with cinnamon, sugar, and blueberries, two words – candied ginger, and, of course, letting the apples be the star and enjoying a plain bowl of good for you deliciousness.
Making your own applesauce is so simple that once you do it, you’ll never go back. It is also a great way to use up those apples that may be a little past their prime. Personally, I do not have a preference on apple varieties. I think they are all great. But whether I do primarily red or primarily green, I always like to add in one of the opposite color just for good measure.
After you have collected your apples, wash all of them and get out that vegetable peeler. I always play a game to see how many apples I can peel without breaking the skin – start to finish. It give me an odd sense of accomplishment and almost always warrants a fist pump in celebration!
I’m also always lucky enough to have a patient volunteer who is willing to eat any scraps that fall, or peels that end up in his bowl.
Cut all of your apples into equal sized pieces and place in a pot big enough that they aren’t piled too thick. I prefer to use to my cast iron dutch oven to give equal heat distribution throughout the cooking process. Turn your stove to medium-high heat and add in about 1 cup of liquid. I always use water, but you can also try apple cider or juice. Give the apples a good squeeze of lemon and stir. At this point you can add in any spices or sweeteners you choose. I like to keep my applesauce au naturel for baking purposes, but don’t hesitate to get out the cinnamon or brown sugar! Cover the pot and let the apples simmer.
Check on the apples periodically and give them a good mix. When they begin to get tender and fall apart take them off the heat. Carefully put the softened apples in a blender and puree. You may have to do it in batches to avoid splattering yourself with hot apple. If you have a handheld blender, you can spare yourself some dishes and do it right there in the pot. Blend to your desired consistency.
The applesauce will stay good stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. I always manage to use mine looooong before it is even close to going bad, so I can’t give you an exact freshness timeline.
Now, go forth my friends and enjoy fall, collect apples, and make it saucy! As always, if you make homemade applesauce leave a comment and tell me all about it!
Yields About 2-3 cups
Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy homemade applesauce! A healthy addition to any baked good. Or a delicious snack.
10 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 2-3 lbs of apples (about 3 medium apples per pound)
- 3/4 to 1 cup liquid - water, aple juice, apple cider
- Half of a lemon
- Any spices you want to add - cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger, butter, etc.
- Wash and dry all of the apples
- Peel them and slice into equal size pieces.
- Put all of the apple pieces into a large pot over medium-high heat, add liquid, and a generous squeeze of lemon. Mix well.
- Place the lid on the pot and simmer apples, stirring occasionally, until tender and begin to fall apart.
- Remove from heat and using a handheld blender, puree to desired consistency. If you don't have a handheld blender, cautiously transfer the hot mixture to a blender and puree in batches.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.