"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."
George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

I've noticed that all the blogs I follow take the weekends off (probably because it's their "real" job, and this is clearly [unfortunately] not mine...) and I tend to ramp up the writing on the weekends. Anyways, I had 8 old apples sitting on the counter and considered throwing them out yesterday. Instead, I put them in the "ingredients" section on allrecipes.com to see what might come up (I was feeling in the mood for some kind of apple tart...) and APPLESAUCE came up. Brilliant! Make semi-mushy apples mushier and nobody will know how old they are! 

My lovely friend Katie who has a very funny cooking blog did this applesauce recipe last year, and I wish I would have remembered it in time! (Or at least the part about putting the peels in the oven sprinkled with brown sugar for crispy apple-chip type snacks before I pitched all my peels.) 

I'm thrilled to add applesauce to the list of things I'm never buying from the store again. That list is slowly getting longer! (In that blog post she talks about making her own ketchup...which I'm definitely now researching too). So, this applesauce is pretty spectacular. It ended up tasting a lot like apple pie filling! 

I kept wishing those were chunks of butter. 
So I looked up a bunch of recipes for this and then just kind of winged it. Here's measurements I used for sure. With the other ingredients you're on your own! Taste as you go--it's the way the real cooks do it. ;-) 

Homemade Applesauce
8 apples (I had golden delicious, fuji and some other reds on hand and used them all)
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar (will probably use less next time, and will probably try to substitute some maple   syrup and/or honey for some of that processed stuff too! see Katie's recipe)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice (it just seemed like the right thing to do)
2 TBS butter (we got fancy butter from Jungle Jim's. Ingredients? Cream. Salt. Amazing)

I added in cinnamon (maybe 1-2 tsps? Little seems to go kind of a long way depending on how much of that flavor you like) and sprinkled some apple pie spice in there too. I also added light brown sugar (maybe 2-3 TBS, not too much). When all that stuff was added I turned the stove on med-med high and covered the 3-quart pot. 

After a little bit it started boiling so I reduced it to medium heat. About 20-25 minutes later the apples were soft enough to mush with my spatula spoon. 

Looks watery but it thickens when you stir it and let it sit.
I took a big fork and mashed it all up. Some big chunks of apple are still in there and I'm okay with that. 

Yes, please.
A quick note on the butter I added--It made this a very rich, more dessert-like applesauce. If you're looking for something a bit more like the store stuff, leaving out the butter is probably a good idea. But since I never miss an opportunity to use butter, it's staying in in the future! 

My first task for this tasty treat was to put it on some vanilla ice cream for dessert! 

All is right with the universe.
My future plans for the applesauce include mixing it with oatmeal for breakfast, and using it as a side with pork chops and sauerkraut for dinner tomorrow night (there will also be mashed potatoes and possibly a veggie, in case you were wondering). Happy eating!


  1. That looks AMAZING with ice cream! And also, I think we may be kind of the same person, because I just bought tomatoes this weekend for ketchup adventures!

  2. ah!! Let me know how it goes!! And what recipe you find. I looked up a couple things online and then I just got frustrated because I want to can ketchup but we don't have a gas stove. GRRRRR. Who would have thought I'd ever miss anything about our old apartment.

  3. I wish that I liked cooked apples. This looks good enough that I almost forgot for a minute that I don't :-).
    You can come use our gas stove! I will never go back.

  4. OMG MARY I'M GOING TO CAN AT YOUR HOUSE. I HOPE YOU MEAN IT!!! You can have some of whatever I can as payment for using your gas. :)

  5. Yo Megs:
    I haven't gotten to the ketchup yet, BUT. You should check out Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I know you guys aren't vegetarian, but it has some seriously fantastic-looking recipes (He also has another huge volume called How to Cook Everything- probably also worth checking out).

    I just made his homemade mayonnaise, which quickly became homemade ranch dressing. Neither of which are things I make a habit of eating, but somehow things seem less terrible for you when they're from scratch. Also, both amazing, btw.

  6. Your blog makes me soooo hungry! (And I am insanely jealous of your newly acquired weekend, though you totally deserve it!)


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