The texture of the sauce is completely up to you - you can make it chunky or smooth or somewhere in between. You can also tailor the spices to your liking and can add berries or peaches or other fruit if you like (though you may need to add more sugar). The amount and kind of sweetener you add is also up to you - I like my applesauce sweetened but some people prefer it without any added sweeteners.
Applesauce makes a wonderful present! Before my son was born, I went all out, painted a picture of an apple using my much-beloved and rarely used set of gouaches, scanned it and created labels for the jars. I can assure you that no creative venture that time-intensive has occurred since he was born...
download a copy of the label design to print out on label paper.
Makes 4-6 servings
- 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" chunks (the smaller the chunks, the more quickly it will cook)
- 1/2 cup liquid - apple juice, apple cider or just plain water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
- 2 cinammon sticks
- 1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey
- Ground nutmeg, cloves, cinammon, ginger and mace to taste (I would not use more than 1/4-1/2 tsp of any of these though.)
1. Place the apples in a large pot and add the water. Cover and simmer over medium low heat until the apples have softened - 15-20 minutes.
2. Add the sweetener and spices and stir well. Cook another five minutes then remove from the heat.
3. Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard. If you like your applesauce chunky, just crush the mixture with a large spoon or potato masher until it reaches the desired consistency. If you prefer your sauce smooth, you can either process in the pot with an immersion blender or you can transfer to a blender, food processor or sieve. If the sauce seems too wet to you, return to the pot and simmer a little longer to cook off some of the unwanted liquid.
4. You can serve the sauce warm or chilled. If you want to can the sauce to preserve it, see my post on canning for additional instructions.
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