Apples are my favorite. I loved when either of my parents would peel and slice up an apple for me when I was little. Dad would sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on it. Mom and I would watch closely while she peeled the apple, to see if there was any pink or red beneath the skin.
I stopped eating sliced apples as much when I was old enough to do it myself because, well, I don’t always like to put in twice the amount of prep time for something as it will take me to eat it. Especially just for a snack. With that in mind, there’s no reasonable explanation for why, this weekend, I decided not only to cut and peel multiple apples, but to cook them on the stove for our own homemade applesauce. But I did. And it was worth it.
I started out by searching online for recipes, but there were just so many variations, some of them unnecessarily complicated – peeling the apples, boiling them half an hour, adding vanilla and sugar and cinnamon, pureeing the whole lot in a food processor (btw I count each piece of that thing as a ‘dish’ that must be washed), etc. It was a bit much. I just wanted basic, sugar-free applesauce.
So I decided to just wing it. I picked out eight Macintosh apples, mostly because I know that a lot of people use those for baking so I figured they’d cook well. The apples were washed, sliced, cored, and dumped into my biggest pot, along with two cups of water and about a teaspoon of cinnamon. I brought it all to a boil, and let them boil, uncovered, for just about 10 minutes until they were soft but not mushy. We like chunky applesauce, so I didn’t want to overdo it.
I took the pot off the burner and let it all cool until I could handle the apples without making a fool of myself. I scooped the apple quarters out one at a time and easily peeled the skin off. To break up the cooked apples, I mashed them a bit with a potato masher, leaving some apple chunks intact. I’ve stored the applesauce in a big ol’ mason jar in the fridge.
It doesn’t show up much in the photos – but a lot of these apples were red under the skin, which made pink applesauce.
I’ve been eating the applesauce all week. It’s good cold straight from the fridge, but I like it even better heated up a bit. And even without adding sugar, it’s sweet – but not too sweet. If you have some spare time and some fresh apples, I highly recommend making your own applesauce.