Monday, November 3, 2014

Homemade Applesauce

You guys, homemade applesauce is SO EASY to make.

I've been craving homemade applesauce recently. My Gramma used to make it all the time; she'd make both delicious regular applesauce and the horrifying neon-red kind made with cinnamon candy. I preferred the delicious regular version. I wasn't really sure how she made it, but how hard could it be, ya know?

Not. Not hard. I made mine in my trusty crockpot because I wanted my house to smell like delicious apple pie goodness all day, but it can be made in about 20 minutes in a regular pot on the stovetop. Judging by my Instagram feed, I know you all have about 45 pounds of apples to use up from the 5 trips to the orchard you all made (as well you should have, how perfect has this fall been?), so I highly suggest whipping up a batch of applesauce. It's delicious warm (and would be heavenly over a scoop of vanilla ice cream...I don't think there's anything that makes me more joyful than puddles of melted ice cream mixed with spiced apple goop), and I think it's even better chilled. And you can make it however you like it - I used the full range of apple pie spices, but you can only use cinnamon if you prefer, or no spices at all. I almost didn't make it because my apples looked so pretty in their bowl on my dining room table and I'm an idiot, but I'm glad I did.

Homemade Applesauce

Peel and core apples; chop into manageable chunks (I used 8 large honeycrisp apples, but you can use whatever you have on hand...just make sure you adjust the rest of the ingredients depending on how many apples you use. This "recipe" is very forgiving, don't get all uptight about it.). Dump into vessel of choice (crockpot or large stockpot) and throw in 1/3 cup brown sugar (white can also be used; I like the deep color brown brings to the table. You can also use more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want your sauce), 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp each of allspice, nutmeg, ground ginger, and cloves. Pour in about 3/4 cup of apple cider (water would also work), and cook until apples start to break down and sauce is thick. I cooked mine in my crockpot on high for about 5.5 hours, but it was technically done after about 3, I think. I haven't done it on the stove, but most recipes I glanced over state that it takes about 25 minutes. When the apples are cooked, break them down with a spoon until a chunky sauce forms, or if you prefer a smooth sauce, puree in blender. Eat warm, or chill and gobble as desired.

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