Everyone will LOVE the apple-y smell of homemade Autumn Applesauce as it’s cooking and your family and guests will think you slaved all day just for them! Let them think what they will! Between us, homemade applesauce is really simple to make and this sugar-optional recipe is naturally sweet and healthy, too. Every fall, the family begs for Miss Party to make a batch!
The great thing is, this is a fun activity for all ages to get involved with and it’s health for all ages (if you take it easy on the sugar or go sugar-free). It’s a delicious side for any meal of the day, including breakfast, and it goes particularly well with pork meats and chicken.
To make a great sauce it’s important to get a good mix of apple varieties, though it doesn’t have to be these particular varieties. The flavors and sweetness of each type of apple come together for a more rounded and naturally sweetened sauce. (No Granny Smith or Red Delicious apples, please. They are great for other purposes, but not for applesauce.) If you have an apple corer, your coring job will go much quicker and a potato masher is very helpful to have at the end of the cooking time.
3-4 lbs of apples total, washed, peeled, cored and sliced (reserve 6-8 washed peels for cooking)
get a variety such as this: 30% Fuji, 20% Yellow Delicious, 30% Gala, 10% McIntosh, 10% Jonathon
2 cups unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) (improves the brightness of the sauce)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon (optional)
1-2 Tbsp sugar (optional), added at the end of cooking time (Miss Party’s family prefers unsweetened applesauce)
1) Put apples, 6-8 apple peels (for added flavor), apple juice or cider, and lemon juice into a large, deep skillet or stock pot, on high heat and cover.
2) Once liquid has begun to boil, immediately cut heat back to medium, stir and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, until apples are soft. Stir occasionally.
3) Turn off heat. Pick out the apple peels. While still in skillet or pot, mash apples with a potato masher to desired chunkiness, stir. Taste for sweetness, add cinnamon and sugar, if desired. Cover again and let sauce cool.
4) Serve warm or chilled with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Refrigerate remainder. Applesauce also freezes perfectly in plastic baggies with the air removed.