Nothing beats anything homemade, and homemade applesauce is not an exception. Applesauce is the most simple thing to make and absolutely perfect for cold autumn days.
There are a few tricks I will share with you to make the most delicious applesauce. First of all you want to use sweet apples, and not the crispy green (sour) ones. Gala and Fuji apples are sweet apples and my favorites to make applesauce with. Apples vary in their sweetness level so the sweetener in this recipe (maple syrup is totally optional). So for the sweetness, use this recipe as a guideline, and please adjust to your taste.
The second trick is to add a few strips of lemon peel and/or lemon juice to the apples while they are cooking. The lemon peel will serve to intensify the taste of the apples, and helps balance out the sweetness of the sauce. You will see, this applesauce will be the most comforting, refreshing delicious applesauce ever.
If you don’t wish to use any lemon juice or lemon peel, you can leave out the peel. Or replace both the lemon juice and lemon peel by absorbic acid (vitamin c) powder.
If you think you feel like making your applesauce a bit more fancy, you can mix other fruit in with the sauce, such as fresh cranberries, stalks of rhubarb or plums. My favorite however is the classic applesauce.
For anyone who has never tried homemade applesauce, there is a night and day difference between homemade and store bought applesauce (besides the price). Always buy organic apples though, and I soak them in vinegar to remove any dirt or debris as well.
Did you know that applesauce also works very well as a vegan egg replacer?
A lovely fresh, sugar free and homemade applesauce.
- about 5 to 7 apples, depending on the size, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1 strips of lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler to strip, zest only, not the pith)
- 1/4 cup of water
- 3 teaspoons of lemon juice (more or less to taste)
- cinnamon to taste
- optional: a tablespoon of maple syrup (if the apple sauce turns out too sweet add more lemon juice)
- Soak the apples in vinegar and water for a couple of hours. This is good method to remove any chemicals. Once they have soaked, rinse very well or the applesauce will taste a bit like apple vinegar.
- Cut the apples into pieces, remove the cores and any leaves. You can either remove the skin (soaking in vinegar is not needed then) or leave the skin on because you will blend the applesauce later and no pieces of skin are even noticeable, but feel free to peel if you prefer.
- Put all the apples in a large pot on the stove with a little bit of water (less than half a cup), the lemon juice, the lemon peel, and cinnamon to taste. I usually add a few tablespoons of cinnamon for each pot full of apples.
- Cook the apples on medium heat until completely soft. The time can vary. The house will smell great while they cook!
- When the apples are soft and skins are starting to fall off, turn off the heat and let the apples cool off to. Remove the lemon peels and use either a blender or hand blender to puree the apples until totally smooth. Optionally, you could add the maple syrup now, but personally I think the applesauce itself is already sweet enough. When you think the applesauce is too sour, add a teaspoon of maple syrup.
- Poor the applesauce into jars. This applesauce can also be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to a month.
photos by the green creator (c) (copyright)