Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

Have you gone apple picking and have an abundance of apples you don't know what to do with? I recently went apple picking with my friends and we bought a huge bag of McIntosh. My wife and I have been eating apples every day, and I have made Gluten Free Apple Crisp, but today was a chilly rainy day so and I thought 'You can easily make delicious Homemade Applesauce with some of those extra apples.'

This applesauce is made on top of the stove, in a large saucepan, using a wooden spoon. You do not need any special equipment unless you want. But it is easy to make with whatever you have in your kitchen.
Cooking the apples on top of the stove will help caramelize the natural sugars in the apples giving it a new depth of flavor. But if you just want a simple/quick applesauce, you can also make it in the microwave by tossing the apple slices into a microwave save dish with a little bit of water, cover and cook on high until the apples are soft enough to mash. Or you could slow cook apples overnight in a crockpot, and mash it in the morning.

Homemade Stove-top Applesauce
  • 5 large Apples (I used McIntosh, but use your favorite apple. Some apples will be more bitter or sweet than others, so make sure you use an apple you like the taste of)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Cinnamon (Optional)
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Maple Syrup/Honey/Other Sweetener (Optional. I do not recommend adding sweetener because I think apples are plenty sweet on their own)
1. Core and Slice your apples making sure to get rid of all the seeds. (if you do not like apple skin or your apples are not organic make sure to peel your apples. I like to eat the cooked apple skin so I left mine on...)
2. Spray your large saucepan with some non-stick spray so the apples do not stick.
3. Place the apple slices into the pan and turn on medium-high heat.
4. Give the apples a few good stirs until they start to heat up, then turn the heat down to medium low.
5. Add the optional cinnamon and stir well.
6. If you left the skins on the apple slices, they will start to separate and you can easily pull them off with a fork. I set mine aside in a bowl to enjoy later.
7. Keep stirring the apples as they cook, and eventually they will start to break down and you can start mashing them lightly with the back of the wooden spoon.
8. If you want a sweeter applesauce you can add a little maple syrup or honey, but if you use a sweet apple like a McIntosh I do not recommend adding sweetener.
9. Continue cooking and stirring the apples until they become a nice sauce.
10. If you like chunky apple sauce then you are done, but if you want a smoother sauce you can push it through a wire/mesh strainer using the back of the wooden spoon to push it all through.
11. Serve warm as a side dish to pork or as a delicious dessert/snack. Or you can put it into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.  

Applesauce can be used in baking to replace some or all of the oil/fat in your muffins, quick breads, and cupcakes, and it can make them more moist and dense, perfect for the Autumn season. It can also be used as a natural sweetener.

Do not give to infants or feed as baby food (especially if you use honey as a sweetener). Apples are one of the fruits that have a lot of pesticides on them, so I recommend buying organic or pesticide free apples if you have a sensitivity or if you intend on giving this to young children. Never give honey to infants. I do not know if maple syrup is safe for infants or not.

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