Apples to Apples
It's getting to the thick of winter, and I don't know about you, but all I am craving are warm things– blankets, sweaters, soups, candles, hot chocolate... the list goes on. One of my favorite things to make during this hibernation period is apple sauce! Not only is it one of the coziest snacks around, it's easy on your budget as well as your waistline. If the idea of making applesauce has intimidated you, or just never occurred to you, here is a super easy recipe that is so good you won't ever go back to the store-bought stuff again!
- 7-10 apples of various varieties (you don't need to go all fancy, I usually go to the discount area and buy the bruised ones, as it won't make a difference when they are all reduced down!)
- A splash of lemon juice (maybe 1/2 a lemon's worth)
- Cinnamon, to taste
- water, as needed
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar, if desired
Peel, core, and slice up your apples (I find a veggie peeler works great, then I just use a paring knife, and slice into bite-sized chunks). Place in a heavy bottomed pot on the stove on medium heat, and add the cinnamon. give it a stir, cover with a lid, and then lower the heat to simmer until the apples are soft, maybe 15 minutes or so. You can add a bit of water if it seems like the apples are not releasing their juices fast enough, it depends on the kind you are using. Mix in the brown sugar to suit your tastes, and use a potato masher to get rid of any large chunks of apple left, leaving it on low heat for another five minutes to allow the sugars to meld with the apples.
Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool before placing it in jars. If you like smooth applesauce, you can blend it with an immersion blender or food processor.