Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Local Finds, Low Sugar, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Awesomely Easy Applesauce

IMG_5107If you were like me and bought apples at local orchards and leave with a gorgeous bag of fresh apples, you’ve probably already tackled apple chips or apple crisp — what’s left? Homemade applesauce. Yummm. Even better, take that applesauce one step further and add ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. The cinnamon and cooking apples make your kitchen smell oh-so-inviting. I can honestly say I’ve never made applesauce from scratch before, and I expected a labor-intensive and arduous afternoon. I encountered quite the opposite. Using a food processor cut down on chopping time, and the apples cooked much faster than I anticipated. In fact, this was quite simple. The flavors from apple pie or crisp are all there. Use this Spiced Applesauce with Golden Raisins as a delicious substitute for a dessert, garnish with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you have a healthier, yet deliciously tasty dessert or eat the applesauce plain and have a simple snack

Ingredients (makes about 4 c).

  • about 10 small to medium orchard Gala apples, washed
  • 1/8 to 1/4 c water
  • 1/8 c apple cider
  • 3/4 c golden raisins
  • 1 cinnamon sitck
  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ginger
  • 1½ T agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)

The apples were bought and grown locally at Wallingford’s Orchard.

Directions.

  1. Using an apple corer (like one here), core apples, leaving the skin on. (You can peel them — it’s just add work!) Cut the cored apple into quarters.
  2. Place the apples in a food processor. Pulverize pieces to get about 1/4 inch chunks or smaller. With the food processor, some apples pieces will be larger than others. This is perfectly fine; the large pieces will condense later on!
  3. Add apples, 1/8 c of water, and then all remaining ingredients to a large pot on high heat. (Add in both cinnamon stick and cloves whole.)
  4. Stir continuously. Make sure there is a thin layer of liquid on the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Add water sparingly because it will naturally cook-out of the apples. I started with 1/8 c cider and 1/8 c water, allowed the sauce to simmer, and then added another 1/8 c of water since the bottom of the pan was dry.
  5. Once the thin layer of liquid is boiling, reduce apple mixture to low heat to a simmer. Stir every 5 min.
  6. After about 20 min. or when the apple pieces are soft, take a potato masher and mash the apple pieces until the applesauce has the consistency you’d like. If you peel the apples, this sauce will be much more homogenous.
  7. Stir in the agave nectar or sweetener of your choice.
  8. Let applesauce cool slightly before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

Inspired by a family recipe, as well as applesauce adaptations in Joy of Cooking.

IMG_5106 IMG_5096

The mixture of apples, raisins and spices because the applesauce is cooked down.

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