Saturday, January 14, 2012

homemade applesacue

One of the things I enjoy most is finding out that making something is almost as easy as buying it and infinitely more healthy for you!  That said, I want to share a secret with you - homemade applesauce is SUPER easy to make and tastes delicious!  Whether you have a family, live by yourself, or with roommates (as is my case currently) this is a great treat to make.



 What you need...
6-10 Granny Smith apples
*Note: I like Granny Smith because of their tart flavor but feel free to use other kinds if you'd prefer.   Also, the quantity is really going to depend on how much sauce you'd like to make and/or how many apples you have on hand- I sometimes make a small portion of applesauce out of 3 apples, just remember all other ingredients are relative to that quantity.
Large 8qt pot
1/4 to 1/2 cup Sugar (again depending on preference and quantity of apples)
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 to 1tsp Cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
Water (optional)

First...
Wash your apples and decide if you want to leave the peel on or off.  If you have an apple corer you can use that to de-core & peel your apples and then you can just cut them up into chunks.  If you're taking the more involved approach, you can peel your apples and then cut them up.  Personally, I like the skin on them so i just cut out the core, chop them up and toss them into the pot.

Next...
Once they are resting comfortably in the pot, squirt lemon juice over them (you can measure out 1tsp or more if you'd like, but I just eyeball it).  Then sprinkle the sugar over the top.  If you've chosen a smaller quantity, use less sugar!  (You actually don't even have to use sugar if you like tart applesauce).  Next, toss in the cinnamon & nutmeg and stir it all up with a nice wooden spoon.

Wait...
The next part takes the longest and will also be dependent on the quantity of your apples.  Turn your burner on to medium heat (I'd say somewhere around 4 or 5 if you have numbers or maybe just a bit below the 'Medium' setting).  You don't want the pot to get too hot and scald the apples.  For the first 10 to 15 minutes I like to cook my apples with the lid on.  If you do this, water will not be necessary because the lid will cause condensation.
When you noticed that the apples are getting softer but still have their shape, take the lid off and continue to let them cook.  Make sure during this whole process you are stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Then...
After you notice the apples are finally losing their shape and soft (another 20 minutes or so depending on the volume of apples) turn off the burner and let the sauce sit for a while to cool down. 

Finally...
Here you have a choice depending on how you like your applesauce.  For a chunky sauce, use either a mashed potato masher or a spoon (more work) to work your sauce into the desired consistency.  OR you can pull out the handy-dandy food processor and blend it into a smooth sauce.  Either way, it's already spiced, sugared (if you like) and ready to go.

In previous batches I have separated it out into small, personal-sized containers to take with me for lunches.  You can also leave it in a sealed container in the refrigerator and spoon out as desired.  Welcome to making your own applesauce!