We have an abundance of apples this time of year and I want to preserve some of the harvest to enjoy later this Winter and early Spring. We recently dehydrated a bunch of apples, but I can only eat so many dried apples in a day. My favorite way to use up apples is making applesauce. Okay, that's a lie. My absolute favorite is to make a big batch of apple crisp. But again, I can only eat so much and while it may use up some apples, it doesn't preserve them for later.
Watch Me Make It
This is a simple recipe that you can easily adjust to make more or less, to make it sweeter or less or to amp up the cinnamon level (or omit it) to make it taste great to you!
Apples - pick a variety you like. If you like sweeter applesauce, choose sweeter apples apples like Fuji. My favorite apple is Honeycrisp, which is sweet with just a little tartness for balance. Or, you can use a combination of apples. If you don't want your applesauce too sweet, maybe use a combination of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.
Cinnamon - use as much as you like or omit it altogether. Go slowly, you can always add more but you can't take it back out.
Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice - just a splash is all you need. It adds brightness to the flavor and also helps keep the color more appetizing.
Sweetener - if your apples are sweet enough, you won't need any. However, if you like it sweet, you can add a sweetener. Each one will change up the final flavor just a bit, so use what you like - white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc.
Liquid - I add just a little bit when I first start cooking the apples just to keep them from burning and allow them to steam a little until they release their own juices. You can just use water for this or a bit of apple cider or apple juice if you have some in your fridge.
Prep the Apples: Wash, peel, and chop the apples into bite-sized pieces so they cook quickly. Place them in a saucepan (size depends on the amount you are making).
Add Flavors: Add in cinnamon, ACV, and any sweetener you want to add. If you aren't sure if you need sugar, wait until it cooks down to decide.
Add Liquid: Just enough to keep it from burning. If you had to much, you may need to strain off some liquid once the apples are done cooking.
Process: Let the apples cool a bit, and then run them through a food processor until you get the desired chunkiness. I like mine to be a little chunky. If you don't have a food processor you can use a potato masher for chunky sauce or a blender or food mill for smoother sauce.
Taste it and adjust: Be sure to taste your final product in case you need to add more cinnamon or sweetener.
NOTE: if you want to jazz up your applesauce there are options.
add some orange zest to your apples as they cook
use a mixture of apples and pears
add a pinch of ground cloves or nutmeg
spice with ground ginger
Let me know in the comment section if you use something to make your applesauce special!
Freezing applesauce is the easiest way to preserve it for later. I simply ladle applesauce into a ziplock freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and freeze the bags lying flat for easy storage. Applesauce will last at least 6 months in the freezer.
I love applesauce as a meal when I'm under the weather. And when I was a kid, I think I had applesauce as a side dish to almost every meal I ever ate. But as a healthy adult, what can you do with applesauce?
Serve along with a pork dish. I don't eat pork myself, but applesauce and pork chops go together like peas and carrots.
Serve with roasted squash. Oh my god, if you haven't tried combining roasted winter squash (I prefer acorn and butternut) with applesauce, you are missing out!
Applesauce makes oatmeal taste delicious. Simply fix a bowl of oatmeal, top it with a big dollop of applesauce, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. No other sweetener needed.
Use it as a topping for waffles and pancakes.