To make applesauce, I used Cortland apples that Keith and I picked ourselves last weekend from a local orchard.
I can't remember if this is a picture of a Cortland apple, or a Jonathan apple, which I used to make an apple tart/pie. If you'd like, check out my yesterday's post about apple picking and tart baking.
Since I had never made applesauce before, I looked up a few recipes on the internet and realized that making applesauce is less science (like baking) and more art (like cooking). So my own improvised version went something like this:
* * * * *Cinnamon Spiced Applesauce
5 lbs of apples - peeled, quartered and cored
1 1/4 cups water (or 1/4 cup water per pound of apples)
5 Tablespoons brown sugar (or 1T per pound of apples)
*1 1/4 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used a few generous shakes)
*In retrospect, about 1-2 teaspoon cinnamon would probably suit most people's tastes.
Add all ingredients into a large pot. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until apples are very soft. Remove the pot from heat and mash apples with a potato masher.
* * * * *Aside from the slightly tedious chore of peeling and coring apples, which I did by hand with a small knife, making applesauce was surprisingly simple and intuitive. I only used 1 tablespoon of brown sugar per pound of apples because I wanted very lightly sweetened applesauce. Sugar can be left out altogether or increased up to four times this amount (probably grocery store level of sweetness at that point) depending on your taste.
The resulting applesauce had a slightly orange/brown tint to it, even more so in this picture due to poor light quality in the kitchen at the time. I think it's from the brown sugar and/or the amount of cinnamon, because peeled apples are supposed to give you light golden/yellow applesauce. Next time, I will probably reduce the amount of cinnamon by half and use only about 1-2 teaspoons. The reason we used so much this time was because Keith was in charge of adding the spices and he LOVES cinnamon. He thought this batch of applesauce tasted great, but I would prefer somewhat less cinnamon. I might also try sprinkling in a little bit of ground cloves and allspice to add another depth to the spice flavor.
This applesauce was served warm right after I made it and also cold the next day for after-dinner dessert. Both times, it was delicious.