I feel like applesauce is under appreciated. It’s chalked up to being a kids snack that’s easy to add to a lunchbox at the last minute. It’s so much more than that though. It’s easy, sure. But it’s also healthy, yummy, and is a fabulous baking substitute.
I lived in Germany for about half a year after high school, attending Bodenseehof Bible School in the South, with views of Lake Constance and the Swiss Alps to the south and German hills to the north. The climate in southern Germany is ideal for growing apples and the school itself had a small apple orchard in the back. Throughout the fall we’d have baked apples, latkes with applesauce, and there was always a bowl of apples in the entryway to snack on. I lost a good bit of weight (that I needed to loose) that year and though I won’t chalk apples up to some sort of miracle fruit, I will concede that it was during this time that I learned to appreciate the value of fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet, and how fun it could be to cook with locally sourced ingredients.
Applesauce is also incredibly easy to make. It’s essentially apples, a little bit of water, and some lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. No added sugar required. Living in a first world country also makes it incredibly easy to get ahold of apples all year round, making it an inexpensive, easy, and wholesome snack to have on hand.
That being said, I still prefer to source fruits and vegetables locally if I can. Though I don’t currently have an orchard in my backyard (I can dream, right?) I try to buy from local farmers whenever possible. There aren’t many orchards in the CSRA that I know of but while visiting Tennessee in October we came across one with more varieties of apples than I had ever heard of. I settled on a variety called Jona Prince because the sign said they were good for cooking. I bought as many as I thought would fit in my 3-gallon pot (about 2.5 pecks) and brought them back to Georgia.
Honestly the hardest part of making applesauce is just peeling, coring, and cutting the apples. Its a million times faster if you’ve got a Pampered Chef contraption, which I have, but I managed to forget about that until I’d been working for about 3 hours and was almost finished. My recommendation: buy it... and then remember that you have it.
Here’s the deal...
- About 2 pecks of apples (that’s 1/2 bushel I found out)
- 1 C water
- 1-2 lemons
- Peel, core, and slice apples. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice as you go to keep apples from turning brown.
- Add apples to 3 gallon pot with water and cook until the apples start falling apart.
- Use a potato masher or immersion blender to pulverize to desired consistency.