One of my favorite fall pleasures is making homemade cinnamon applesauce. It’s a sure sign of fall at our house. This is the first year that my daughter stuck with me for the whole process. Normally I can coerce one or even both kids to peel the apples, but they would lose interest after that and wander off in search of greener pastures. Not this year. Bridget enjoyed every bit, from peeling to cutting to measuring to stirring to cooking (and taste testing, of course!)
You may wonder why you should invest your time into making homemade applesauce when you can buy it in the store. Because it’s heads and shoulders above anything you can buy in a jar! And you can control exactly what goes into it. There is just no taste comparison, plain and simple.
And speaking of simple, this recipe could hardly be easier. As I mentioned, my 10-year old did most of the work, so you get the level of effort we’re talking about here. I love chunky applesauce, so I lightly mash the cooked apples with a potato masher until I get just the right chunkiness for me. For those of you who prefer a smoother sauce, take the cooked apples for a spin through the blender, food processor or a food mill, if you have one. I also enjoy a generous dose of cinnamon in my sauce, but feel free to leave that out, too. Depending on the sweetness of your apples, you may need to add or decrease the amount of sugar. Taste and refine as needed. You can even mix together a variety of good cooking apples and enjoy that range of texture and flavor. This recipe is very forgiving, so just have fun playing around with it.
Do you have a signature dish that you make to welcome fall? C’mon, play along! It’s just not fall until I make ______ (fill in the blank).
Stir together apples, water, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until apples are fork tender. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and mash to desired smoothness. Eat immediately or refrigerate.