Although it might be different in other areas, around here, this has been a bumper year for apples. Every apple tree in town has been totally packed this year, to the point that in many cases, branches have broken from the weight of the apples. Needless to say, this means that there is a surplus of apples. People are giving them away or throwing them away.
Apples can be used in a lot of different recipes, but frankly, we won’t be using enough in dinners to use up even a portion of the apples we already have, and there are people offering to give us more. Thankfully, it is quite easy to make homemade applesauce that totally puts the store-bought version to shame.
We’ll probably end up canning quite a bit of the applesauce we make, as that isn’t hard to do either, but it also keeps well in the refrigerator. Here is the recipe I use for homemade applesauce:
~5 pounds of apples, peeled and cored and sliced
½ cup brown sugar/granulated sugar, or maple syrup
1 cup apple cider
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1. Put the sliced apples, the juice from the lemon, the sugar/syrup, and the cider into a pot that has a tight-fitting lid.
2. Heat over medium heat and cook for about 30 minutes stirring the mixture occasionally.
3. Allow the apple mixture to cool and ladle into a blender or food processor. Add the cinnamon. If you have neither, you can use a potato masher or something similar.
4. Pulverize the mixture until it is at the consistency you want it. There is nothing wrong with leaving it a little on the chunky side if that is how you like it. I usually make it fine, like that purchased at the store, but sometimes leave it a little chunkier, just for something different. This makes about 6 cups of applesauce, so you may need to pulverize it in 2-3 batches.
Note that this yields applesauce that is golden brownish or darker if brown sugar or maple sugar is used. If you want it to be light in color, use granulated sugar. I haven’t tried it by using stevia instead of sugar, but there is no reason that wouldn’t work, as a diabetic alternative. You can also add more cinnamon if you prefer.
The great thing is that I haven’t found any apples that this apple sauce can’t be made out of, though I haven’t tried it with crab apples yet. I’m eager to try it with crab apples, but we just have too many other apples to work with this year. Additional sugar might need to be added with crab apples.
This applesauce is excellent when served with pork or even used while the pork is cooking. It can also be used in pancakes, over waffles, and in sweet bread recipes. It can be used to make apple turnovers or other apple pastries. I like it as a stand-alone dessert or side dish. As mentioned, it can be canned. It is easy to make and isn’t expensive, yet it is far tastier than store-bought applesauce. As importantly, it is a great way to take care of a surplus of apples.