Apples are the quintessential autumn fruit. Apple picking (as well as pumpkin and berry picking) was one of my favorite Fall activities. I would spend hours on end at the apple orchard. Dragging me out of there would have been a futile effort. I would leave when I’ve decided I had enough which was about 8 hours after apple picking. The apples we picked fresh off from the apple tree were very tasty and crispy. They often didn’t survive the trip home because we literally devoured 2 bagfuls of those apples. Applesauce was once of those to-go fruit purees I’ve always wanted to make. My grandmother would make homemade applesauce and serve them with potato pancakes. Sometimes she would add some pears and peaches which elevated the flavors. Some people like their applesauce sweet but I prefer mine on the more tart side. Apples are naturally sweet on their own so I didn’t feel the need to add sugar. If you made pureed fruit or vegetables, there is no reason why your confidence should be lacking in making applesauce. Besides it doesn’t involve much effort and it doesn’t contain artificial flavors nor high fructose corn syrup as would the store bough applesauce. Some of you may like your applesauce chunky but I like mine smooth smooth, flavored with both lemon zest, sweetened with nothing but the apples themselves, and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. I do warn you that I am a tad too generous with the cinnamon which annoys hubby to no end since he is a cinnamon Nazi just like me :-). This unsweetened applesauce recipe is fast, easy, and you control the ingredients as well as quantity. It also makes great recipe for homemade baby food.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 lbs of apples, sweet or tart, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple juice o cider
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (you can use orange zest as well if you like)
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Place first 4 ingredients in a sauce can and cook for 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Mash apples with a ricer if you like your apple sauce chunky. Puree with a hand blender or in a food processor for a smoother consistency. Spice with cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve warm or chilled.
Yields 1 1/2 to 2 cups