Stock up on… Applesauce!

People ask me, more than any other question, “what’s your favorite thing to cook?” Without a doubt, my answer is always “ingredients.” If I have some free time during the day I always spend it building our stock of ingredients. I like to keep homemade dressings, condiments, chutneys, sauces, stocks, or cheeses because it is the easiest way to make a fabulous meal. I might not have time to make a fancy dinner every night but I can definitely put some chicken on the grill and serve it with some already-made chutney and a salad with homemade mozzarella and homemade dressing. Sounds like a lot of work, right? It wasn’t! Hooray!

Applesauce is something I really love to have in the fridge. When I add butter to it and lower the sugar it’s a great, quick way for me to have something to eat and make sure I get enough calories during the day (remember I used to sit down and eat lunch every day?). It’s such a great ingredient to have around to serve on pork chops, to substitute in baked goods, to use instead of syrup, or just as a snack. When I have, a batch made up I use it every day. Just this morning I made waffles and we used this applesauce on top… Warm and sweet and delicious. I like it a bit chunky but if you want smooth applesauce just blend a bit at a time in a food processor.

Do I only need to use peeled apples?

No! Sometimes I don’t even peel the apples. The peels don’t get soft but they can add a nice bite and beautiful color. You can also add any fruit you want! Just like making stock, applesauce is a great way to get to “fruit zero” (as we call it) and empty your fridge and fruit bowl. I love adding berries, plums, and peaches.

What are the best apples to use?

For applesauce, you want an apple that is soft, moist, and sweet, like McIntosh, Jonagold, Gala, Jonathan, or Lodi. For baking, it’s important to have a firmer apple that will keep its form once it’s cooked, like Fuji, Granny Smith, or Braeburn. I used McIntosh for mine.

Why does my applesauce seem runny?

It might seem a bit watery right when you take it out of the oven but once it cools it will thicken a little. This is due to high amounts of pectin in apples, which is a thickener like gelatin. Pectin is used/present in jellies, jams, and as a gelling agent in other baked goods, like tarts or even jelly beans.

Why do my apples turn brown?

Mine turned brown because I was peeling with one hand and it took an hour.  Check out my post for Pork Wellington for more info!

: recipe:

  • 3 lbs apples, I recommend McIntosh
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (or orange)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Other good spices: allspice, nutmeg, cloves, ground ginger)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 3-4 tablespoons butter
  1. Wash and peel apples. Cut flesh off of the core and place in large pot with the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all up! I like to put my butter on last. This is a double batch below.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Even when they are done they will look whole… Just stir!
  3. Stir or blend (depending on desired consistency) and season with more sugar and spices if needed. It will thicken a bit once it has cooled. Enjoy!