If it seems like we're always sharing recipes, it's because we are. But we couldn't resist sharing one that our friend Sarah on instagram posted (@sarahbish22)! She found this recipe via one of our favorite blogs, Pioneer Woman. If you haven't checked out Pioneer Woman yet - you need to do so! Here's a link to her site. Thanks so much for sharing Sarah!
You need to start by peeling a bunch of apples. Sometimes I just hurriedly peel them, but sometimes I start at the top and peel in one continuous coil, and if I make it to the bottom without the coil breaking, everything in my life is going to turn out okay…or I’m the grooviest, coolest person in the world…or something like that.
You do that too, right? Like right before you try to toss something into a trash can, and you tell yourself if you make it, you’re the winner of everything? And if you miss it, everything in your life will implode?
Great. I’m so glad you do that, too.
Core the apples, too…
Then slice them into 8-slices each. I used one of those combination corer/slicers, which made it go really fast, but you could also just cut around the core and slice that way.
You basically need all the apple flesh you can get!
Oh, and on that note: You can use whatever apples you want. Some folks have specific varieties of apples they like to use when they make applesauce, but since I often just use an assortment based on what I have in my fridge, I’ve conditioned myself to believe the variety of apples doesn’t really matter. I used a mix of Honey Crisp and Macintosh. I think.
Throw them in a pot big enough to hold them…
Then pour in about a cup of apple juice. You can also do apple cider or just straight-up water. You just need a little liquid to help things along.
Next up: Squeeze in the juice of a lemon…
And, for glorious sweetness and deeper color, add half a cup of brown sugar. You can use regular sugar instead, but I love the color the darker sugar brings to the equation. You could also sub some maple syrup for some of the sugar if you want to go that direction. Also, you can add more sugar to make it much sweeter if that makes your skirt fly up. The world is your applesauce!
Next, add a little cinnamon. This is totally optional, too! You can leave out spices if you’d rather just have the natural apple flavor by itself. Or you can up the spices and add ground cloves, ground nutmeg, or a little allspice. You’re the boss with applesauce.
And while we’re on the subject: I never have added butter to my applesauce. Many people do. But I don’t. It’s delicious if you do. But it’s delicious if you don’t, and butter-free applesauce is much more pure and holy. And if you’re looking to use applesauce as a substitute for oil/fat in muffins and other baked goods, the presence of butter kind of defeats that purpose.
Write this day on your calendar. It’s probably the only time in history I’ll be suggesting that butter not be used.
Now just stir the apples over medium to medium-high heat, then cover the pot and let them cook for 25 minutes or so.
The apples should be partly broken up, partly still intact, and very soft and tender.
Now, you can take one of two approaches with the texture of the applesauce: You can use a potato masher (or forks or whisks) to break up the apples by hand, which will leave you with a more textured and chunky applesauce, or you can puree it to make it smooth. I prefer the latter, because that most closely resembles my childhood experience with applesauce, and however I ate things as a child is exactly how I want to eat things as adults. Absolutely, positively no exceptions.
Not that I’m particular or anything.
To puree the applesauce, I transfer all the contents of the pan to a food processor. You can use a blender or food mill, too—whatever your poison. Just keep in mind that if you use a blender especially, and if you puree the applesauce while it’s still hot as I did, you should do it in smaller batches to avoid the hot applesauce spraying everywhere.
This has been a public service announcement.
Just puree it until it’s the consistency you want. You can stop just short of it being totally smooth, or you can keep on going until it looks and feels like velvet.
Now, you can just store it in a bowl, covered in the fridge…
Or you can use a wide-mouth funnel…
To transfer it to mason jars. With the lids on, the applesauce will stay good in the fridge for awhile, and the mason jars make it easy to just grab smaller portions.
You can also can the applesauce, but the canning side of things is another story for another time, and for this size of batch, I will just store it in the fridge. It’ll be gone before I know it!
Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.
Carefully puree in a food processor or blender (don't fill too full; split into two portions if needed) until smooth.
Store in the fridge and serve by itself, over pork chops, over ice cream, over pancakes...or any place where applesauce is needed!