Tuesday, October 6, 2015

homemade cinnamon applesauce

This past weekend I harvested more apples from my apple trees.  There aren't many more I can harvest using a ladder and apple picking pole, so I only got about 30; some were gorgeous and others were not so gorgeous.  I gave a whole bunch to my coworker so she could make apple pie; she's a great baker.  I kept the uglier ones for myself.  Even though my coworker would have to peel them for the pies, I just didn't feel right giving her spotty-looking apples.

I then got to looking online for any recipe that would use a whole bunch of apples, since I have so many of them.  I didn't want to make a recipe that only calls for two or three apples, so I figured my best bet would be apple butter or applesauce.  Applesauce seemed easier, so that's what I went with.  I found a recipe on The Pioneer Woman website.  (For anyone that doesn't know who The Pioneer Woman is, her name is Ree Drummond and she has a show on the Food Network.  I like her recipes and she's very funny.)  I wanted to make it my own, though.  Bob likes cinnamon with his apples, so I decided to mix it with another recipe I found for cinnamon applesauce and see what happens.  I also wanted to reduce the sugar so I would be able to eat a small amount of it without feeling nauseous.

I peeled, cored, and chopped six pounds of apples, which amount to about 3.5 pounds of usable apple.  I threw them in the pot with some water, the juice of a lemon, some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, and cooked it for about 20 minutes.  My stove uses propane, which runs hotter than electric or natural gas, so my cooking time was faster than what the recipe stated.  And you can adjust the cooking time if you'd rather have crispier chunks of apples, or want apples that completely break down and dissolve. 

The results were delicious!  The applesauce was a mix of smooth and chunky, had a warm brown coloring, and tasted like cinnamon and nutmeg.  It wasn't too sweet, either.

I was only able to eat about 1/4 cup before feeling a little nauseous; even with reducing the sugar, it still packs about 32 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup.  I decided to freeze it in two batches:  one for a friend and one to pull out when we want it.

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce
Makes about 12 1/2 cup servings

6 pounds apples, peeled, cored, a cut into chunks (I used McIntosh)
1 cup water (you can use apple juice or cider if you want)
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon, more or less to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg


Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until desired level of doneness.  Once the apples start really breaking down, it's your call as to what you consider "done."

I didn't think I'd fit them all in there...

...but they cook down a lot.  This looks about right to me!

Yum!  Ready to eat!

Here's the recipe from The Pioneer Woman website:  Homemade Applesauce

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