I have a confession: I’m a little embarrassed at how long it took me to realize applesauce is easy to make.
Four or five years ago at Thanksgiving, my dad got overzealous peeling apples for pie. I think my sister-in-law was the one who suggested applesauce, and I felt like one of those cartoon characters with a lightbulb going off over my head. Of course, applesauce can be homemade!
Applesauce is my three-year-old son’s favorite food so we go through A LOT of it (he literally eats it every meal if we let him) so making it myself not only saves money but ensures it’s fresh and without extra sugar. We also tend to like applesauce on the more tart side, which is hard to find in the store-bought versions.
- 3 lbs Granny Smith apples (if you like it less tart, replace half your apples with a sweeter variety like Gala.)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Peel the apples, and core or cut them into large pieces.
- Combine apples and spices in a stockpot, and stir until the seasoning is well-mixed. Pour the water over the apples and stir again.
- Cover and cook over medium low, stirring periodically. Cook until the apples fall apart easily when stirred, usually about 45 minutes. The apples are basically steaming and absorbing all the cinnamon and nutmeg, and the water will cook down.
- Once you can mash the apples with your spoon, remove from heat. The applesauce will be chunky at this point. Depending on how you want to serve it
- Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a container with a tightly-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- This applesauce also freezes well. Once cool, transfer to a freezer-safe container and keep for up to six months. I often freeze in one cup increments so I don’t have to defrost all of it at once (this is especially helpful if you have a little one!)
Applesauce is definitely not just kid food, either! I bring it to work for a side dish at lunch sometimes, and it goes well with other meals – crockpot pork chops and veggies with chunky applesauce on the side is an easy weeknight dish.
It’s also a great way to let kids get involved in the kitchen. I let my son stir the applesauce and help pour it into jars. And I’m going to humblebrag a little: my son recently told my mom that his “mommy makes his applesauce from real apples, and it’s the best in the world.” (They’re so sweet at this age, aren’t they? Someone remind me of this when he starts high school.)
So what’s your favorite embarrassingly easy recipe? Share in the comments!
Have a great week, RWC!