One of the best things about fall where I live is that apples are in season. The grocery store’s produce department has apples everywhere, and local orchards are offering the best apples you can find. But my favorite apples are clearance apples:
That’s right, I like ‘em cheap and aging, because that means I get to make applesauce. (Save your perfect apples for eating out of hand.) Let’s start by putting a few cups of water, a splash of lemon juice, a dash of salt and a cinnamon stick in a good-sized pot on the stove:
Turn the heat on low, and while it warms up, you can get started with the apples.
Back in the day, I put my kids to work helping me peel, slice and chop apples. This was the price they had to pay for enjoying fresh applesauce, not to mention homemade apple pie if I was feeling really energetic.
Now that my kids are grown, I’ve found a new, quieter helper:
This is an apple peeler/corer. I love this thing: it works so fast! I’m sure my kids wish I’d had one when they were younger, but all that apple-peeling was character-building, right? Anyways, if you don’t have one of these, start peeling and slicing until you wind up with some of these:
Start throwing them in the pot and stirring them in so the lemon juice can keep your slices from turning brown. Add water as needed to keep an inch or so of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
Check with a fork to see if your apples are soft yet. Once they are, you can easily mash them with a potato masher and then give them a good stir. (Be sure to take out the cinnamon stick first.)
You might want to add a little sugar. I only buy organic cane sugar now because today’s “regular” sugar comes from sugar beets, not sugar cane.
Homemade applesauce is great when it’s warm; if you have any left over, be sure to put it in the fridge.