Homemade Seasonal Applesauce
This is perhaps my favorite fall seasonal recipe. I have my mom and 26 years in the Midwest + Northeastern United States to thank for the many batches of applesauce I've enjoyed. First and foremost, the best applesauce is made with a variety of apples. I usually aim to get 3-4 different types of apples and then 3-4 of each apple. You want to aim for a good mix of both sweet and tart apple varieties. I love an apple sauce that weighs in heavy on the tart end of the spectrum, and granny smith apples and pink lady apples are perfect for that. I like to balance out the tart with something sweet like a Gala or a Braeburn or a McIntosh. As always, it's important to try to purchase your produce locally, seasonally, and as waste free as possible. These apples came from my local farmer's market back in September and of course I brought my reusable produce bags to carry them home.
Step one: rinse your apples, remove the skin with a peeler or knife (be careful!), quarter your apples and remove the core + seeds, and set aside until finished. Be sure to compost your peels, cores + seeds.
Next, fill a large pot with about a centimeter of water. Apples have a high water concentration, and as they cook down they will produce liquid, so you only need a little bit of water in the pot to start. Place your quartered apple slices into the pot, turn on your burner to low heat, and let the apples sit for roughly 15-20 minutes with a lid on the pot. The apples will begin to break down and produce liquid, the liquid will begin to bubble, and this is when I like to add an ample amount of cinnamon. I wish I had a numerical measurement to provide you, but I really don't. I add cinnamon until my nose and tongue tell me I've added enough. Mix the cinnamon and apples together and let the mixture continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. If the apples are done, they should be soft to the touch, readily able to fall apart with the poke of a wooden spoon or other utensil. Finally, take your potato masher and mash everything up until it resembles, well, apple sauce. Give it a little taste test and if you need to add more cinnamon, definitely do that!
Lastly, serve your apple sauce warm or cold. For storage, place in a glass container in the refrigerator. If you want to travel with your sauce, use a glass mason jar for optimal storage and spill prevention.