Apple Picking is Good For The Soul: Part 1 – Cinnamon Applesauce
In honor of fall, the day before Halloween, and almost-Thanksgiving, here is the first in a three (possibly more) part series about apples!
A few weekends ago we went apple picking!
We thought we’d just get a few pounds of apples. Turns out they’re heavier than they look! Two bags (we had to each have our own, of course) ended up being a little over 18 lbs. Whoops! So, of course, that meant I got to make things with them!
First up, applesauce! I love applesauce. A lot. But I especially love cinnamon applesauce. And the problem with store-bought cinnamon applesauce is that they don’t make a “natural” version without added sugar. So I decided to make my own.
The recipe called for 5 lbs of apples. I thought that would be a lot more than it was. I got out a whole pile just in case, and it ended up being about 10 apples.
It’s in the picture, but I didn’t end up using any sugar – the apple sauce didn’t need it. I think it’s because I used Fuji apples, which are already sweet. I got it out just in case, though. I don’t want to add sugar, but I also don’t want to eat sour applesauce!
Peeling and coring apples is a lengthy business. I also have a terrible peeler (I should work on that). I decided by the time I got to making apple crisp (post soon!) that there was an easier way, but here are all my apples, peeled and cored. And then all cut up, too. (Are you seeing where the easier way is coming in?)
Apples in their cooking pot with a 1/2 inch of water (scientific, isn’t it?), and sprinkled with cinnamon and cloves (I made that part up).
Apples cooking away happily a while later. I really wish I could post a scratch and sniff of the smell in my kitchen while this was going on. If they made an air freshener that smelled like cooking cinnamon applesauce, I would buy them out.
The recipe said to take out a cup of juice. I’m not sure if that was necessary, but I did it anyway. Then a little later I drank it, because it was delicious and tasted like apple cider. Mmmmm. Anyway, taking out the juice was supposed to help the sauce thicken.
Does it look like the best baked apples? I almost wanted to leave them like this.
And then for the fun part – playing with my immersion blender. Gosh I love this thing. I got a little too impatient this time, because I left a few chunks of apple. They were really tasty when I ate them, though. I’ve said it before, but I think the blender actually works better in a narrower, deeper pot. I always use this red one, and it’s always just a little too shallow to be ideal. But it works just fine.
Mmmmmmmmm… And just keep imagining the smell while you look at this. Awesome.
I canned some to eat later, and I bowled some to eat right away. I generally think of applesauce as a cold dish, but it was so good warm I think I’ll do it that way again. Just like pureed apple pie, but without the crust. Or, you know, like applesauce…
Modified from How to Cook Everything
- 5 lbs apples
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- Peel, core and quarter apples
- Put about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of a large pot and add the pinch of salt.
- Add apples and spices, then cover and turn heat to medium.
- When water begins to boil, uncover pot and lower heat slightly.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and mushy, at least 30 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender (or masher if you don’t have a blender) to puree the apples. Don’t worry too much about small chunks – they add character.
- Eat the applesauce hot or cold. Refrigerate, freeze, or can what you aren’t going to use right now.