My friend Margaux, shared her family’s recipe for applesauce on her blog, Sweet and Savory Kitchens, a couple of weeks back and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about applesauce, since. The smell in your kitchen and that unremarkable old-fashioned taste, just reminds me of being a kid, for some reason. My mom must have made applesauce when we were kids. I would like to have homemade applesauce simmering on the stove everyday during Autumn, just so I could enjoy that lovely smell.
Applesauce is a great way to use up the apples that are maybe a bit too bruised and dinged up or that may have started to get a bit softer. We went apple picking a few weeks back and I was a feeling bit “appled-out”, I think I may have eaten one too many whole apples, so I thought this would be a great way to use up the last of them. This applesauce is great on its own as a side dish, it’s a wonderful and healthy snack or dessert, you can serve it over vanilla ice cream or yogurt, spread it on toast and you can eat it warm or cold. It’s just a great homestyle dish that is incredibly easy to make.
I like the flavor from the spices and how it pairs so nicely with the apples, if you are a purist and just want to enjoy the apple flavor, leave out the spices. I also tend to like my applesauce on the chunky side, so I hardly mash mine up, though some folks love a smooth pureed applesauce, whatever you like, this recipe is super simple and in no time your house will smell so good, you won’t want to leave.
3 to 4 lbs of apples, peeled, cored and sliced ( I think I used about 8 apples, a couple different varieties*, left over from apple picking)
Juice of one lemon
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons organic pure cane sugar
3 whole cinnamon sticks (3-inch sticks)
2 whole star anise
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
As you are slicing and peeling your apples, place them in a large saucepan. Once you have all of your apples in there, place the saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the lemon juice and water. Stir in the sugars and add in the spices and the salt. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower to a low-medium heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the apples are thoroughly cooked. They will start to mash-up and breakdown on their own. Once your apples are fully cooked, and soft, remove the pan from the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise. Mash it up with a potato masher or a large wooden spoon, it won’t take much. Leave your sauce as chunky as you would like. If you like a very smooth applesauce you can blend it in your blender or food processor. Serve warm or cool.
This applesauce will keep a few weeks, covered in the refrigerator or it can easily be stored in your freezer.
* Be sure to choose a good quality sweet cooking apple such as – Cortland, Empire, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, HoneyCrisp, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Rome, Fuji, Ginger Gold or Jonathan. I think I used a combination of golden delicious and McIntosh, not entirely sure since I was apple picking with my high-energy 3-year old nephew, Noah.