Apple picking is almost synonymous with fall in Midwestern America. What’s October without a good trip to the orchard? Alex was lucky enough to bring in a haul of apples from a nearby orchard (or, mom’s neighbor’s apple tree) a few weeks ago.
What to do with pounds of apples? Make applesauce, of course! I grew up making applesauce from the tree in our backyard – we always set aside a day or more to cook down mountains of apples and freeze the sauce for the winter. Maybe because it was such an involved affair, I never though applesauce could be simple.
Trying it on our own made me think again – not only was it easy, if you have the right apples, you need no extra ingredients! (Well, water and salt – but do those count?)
We were surprised to find that the apples we used were so sweet that the sauce was perfect without any added sweetener! It all depends on the type of apple you use, so you can add a bit of honey or sugar at the end to your liking. However, “au natural” was perfect for us (and it tasted nothing like the “natural” brands in the stores)!
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- Core the apples and cut them into quarters or smaller pieces (an apple corer works well). For applesauce that is not rosy in color, peel the apples (it’s also easier to make chunky apple sauce this way; see Step 3). Otherwise, leave on the skin, which adds a rosy color.
- Place the apple pieces in a large pan with 3/4 cup water. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook until the apples are soften, about 30 to 35 minutes. Check the pot several times, stirring and mashing down the apples. When the apples are cooked down, turn off the heat.
- For chunky applesauce, mash down the apples with a potato masher. Remove the apple skins with a fork.
- For smoother applesauce and to easily remove the skins, pass the applesauce through a food mill or force it through the holes in a colander. (The food mill is the easiest method, but a sieve or colander works just as well, though it is more time consuming.)
- Taste; depending on the type of apples, the apple sauce may be sweet enough as is. If not, add honey and/or cinnamon to taste.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.