Whenever possible, I try to be a keeper of my word. So, as promised in my last post, I’m bringing to you today autumn in a bowl: cinnamon-scented applesauce. And man, is it good!
Applesauce is such a versatile treat. Throw a spoonful in smoothies for added richness and texture; smear on pancakes and waffles; use as a substitute for oil when baking muffins or quickbreads (reduces fat and adds sweetness); top with walnuts and raisins and you’ve got an instant “applesauce parfait.” But perhaps my favorite way to enjoy a bowl of homemade applesauce is hot right out of the pot.
Pure and delicious applesauce is easy to make, really. Just throw some apples and a bit of water in a pot, season with spices, and POOF! You have a pot full of deliciously saucy apples and a mouthwatering-ly fragrant kitchen! By making your own sauce, you bypass all the sugar and too-hard-to-spell preservatives found in most storebought applesauces. You also can get a lot more for your money by buying a few pounds of apples and making a mountain of sauce for the same price as one puny jar from the store.
So, without further to do, here is the recipe. It’s a rather loose recipe, so improvise with however many apples you have around or whatever spices you most enjoy. Just know this: this stuff is addicting!
Cooking apples (such as McIntosh or Cortland), peeled if a smooth sauce is desired or unpeeled for a textural sauce
Water, as needed
Cinnamon, to taste
Optional other spices: cloves, ground nutmeg, ginger, or allspice (a little goes a long way!)
Cut apples into bite-sized chunks and place in a pot large enough to hold them. Place over medium heat. Apples will begin to sizzle, soften, and gradually break down. Be sure to stir often to prevent them from sticking or burning to the pan. If the apples appear to be real juicy and are releasing enough juice to make a nice sauce, great! If not, add enough water to reach desired consistency.
As the apples sputter, bubble, and break down (this will go on for about 15-20 minutes), mash them up with a potato masher or wooden spoon. When completely cooked to desired doneness (about 15 minutes for me), remove from heat and stir in cinnamon or other spices. If a super-smooth sauce is desired, puree in a blender or food processor. Or leave as is for a chunky-style sauce. It’s delicious either way!
For more tasty apple recipes, visit www.thewholegang.org for links to other food blogs. Happy apple-eating!
(Note: this post is part of Food Renegade’s “Fight Back Friday.” Check it out: www.foodrenegade.com)