|From Eating Well|
If you have never made applesauce before, you should give it a try! Applesauce is easy to make and hard to mess up. The basic recipe is very forgiving. It doesn't really matter if you add too much water or don't use exactly the right amount of apples -- simply adjust the cooking time to get the thickness you want. Use whatever good cooking apples you have on hand, but try to add at least a couple of tart ones if the rest are very sweet (I used Cortlands which were a bit too tart to eat fresh). The type and/or amount of sweetener can vary depending on your preference, or leave it out completely. Add whatever spices you like, or don't add any at all. I like a fairly chunky consistency, but if you prefer a very smooth sauce you can even put it in a blender.
The only thing at all complicated about making applesauce is preparing the apples. You can leave the peels on if you want, but I prefer to remove them. I actually find it relaxing and enjoyable to peel apples the old-fashioned way, with a paring knife. I like to challenge myself and try to get the peel off in one long piece, but of course this is not essential to the process, just a bit of fun for me! I have made applesauce many times, but I tried this Maple Cinnamon Applesauce for the first time this week, and it is delicious. I was going to save some for baking, but I think it will be gone long before I get around to cooking with it!
Maple Cinnamon Applesauce
6 MacIntosh or other tart apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Golden Delicious or other sweet apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 C. water
2 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
Put the apple chunks and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring a couple of times, until the apples are very soft and mushy, about 30 minutes. Mash the apples to your desired consistency, then stir in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Makes about 6 servings. (It's just that easy!)
Note: The applesauce can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, or frozen for up to six months (if there are any leftovers, which is not likely!).