This one-ingredient wonder is as good as applesauce gets!
Applesauce is basically cooked apples. Sure, you could add a touch of lemon, a sprinkling of sugar, and some spices, but it's not necessary. All you need are peeled apples plus a few drops of water to help the apples along as they release their juices and break down. It’s so easy to do, that there is no sense in ever buying the jarred variety. Fresh apple taste comes through when applesauce is homemade. The flavor and moisture content of the applesauce change depending on the apple used. Granny Smith apples, for example, lend a full, dense flavor and golden color with a chunky texture, if desired. Cortlandt apples, on the other hand, have more water and therefore make a lighter, thinner, paler, and finer applesauce.
Equipment: peeler; chef’s knife; saucepan; wooden spoon
6 apples, peeled and cored
¼ cup water 1 lemon (optional) ¼ cup granulated sugar (optional) (dash of cinnamon) (dash of nutmeg) (fresh ginger) (horseradish)
1. Peel and core the apples, then cut them in half. If desired, cut the lemon in half and use one half for rubbing the apples. Cut the apples into small chunks and place them into a medium saucepan. Add the water, (and a squeeze of lemon juice from the remaining lemon half plus the sugar, if using).
ILOC tip: it isn't necessary to use a lemon (to prevent oxidation). If the apples turn slightly brown while peeling and cutting them, it won't matter much as they cook and become applesauce. If you do choose to use the lemon, using the sugar will help to balance the sourness of the lemon juice.
2. Cook, covered, over low heat until the apples begin to break down and release their juices, about 15-20 minutes.
3. Remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring frequently until you reach the desired consistency. For chunky applesauce, cook for approximately 3-5 more minutes. For a smoother applesauce, cook for approximately 5-10 more minutes.
4. Stir in desired seasoning, if using.
"Applesauce may be served warm or cold and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks."
Makes 3-4 cups.