In which I learn that ‘no, really, even applesauce isn’t infinitely expandable’

So, I promised y’all an applesauce recipe back on the 10th – here it is.

I was late to the applesauce thing, not really liking it until… oh college. See, as a kid, I declined to learn to swallow pills until much later than pharmaceutical companies assume will happen, so my mom had to mix my antibiotics into applesauce up until I was … about 8 or so. But it was the completely smooth, kinda tasteless, kinda watery, utterly bland but shelf-stable Mott’s applesauce. Hey, if you like Mott’s, cool, glad you’ve got your brand. It just didn’t work for me. Probably ’cause all the good stuff is in the stuff I’m missing receptors to detect. But you know, in addition to the not tasting aspects, was all the bitterness of medical pills. So, yeah. Yech.

Homemade applesauce on the other hand is awesome – as chunky or smooth as you like (or care to put work into), you can vary the apple varieties, vary the spices, and it takes much less time than I thought before hand. The recipe I currently use expands pretty easily. BUT, not when I do this

Apple-pile

This particular attempt involved tripling the recipe, using large apples, resulting in the mound you see above. It took more time than usual to cook down and I’m still not entirely sure everything was heated through, at least to the same degree as apples from a different … strata in the pot. Lesson learned, however much I’m scaling this recipe up or down, make sure the apple pile fits properly in the pot – i.e. there’s some pot leftover!

A few notes before we start with the actual recipe though: Potato mashers will work to mash your cooked apples and are good for the building of arm muscles. Immersion blenders will make short work of all your mashing needs, but pay attention – you may end up with smoother applesauce than you wanted otherwise.

Homemade Apple Sauce

Adapted from The Craftinomicon

  • 5 medium to large apples, of any 3 varieties (proportions between the different varieties are best left as an exercise/experiment to the cook and their taste)
  • 2-4 tbsp cranberry-apple juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Peel, core & roughly dice the apples; add to an appropriately sized stock pot or Dutch oven. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to distribute roughly evenly.
  2. Cook over medium heat until apples are fairly soft, about 15 minutes. Mash to desired consistency with a potato masher or immersion blender; alternatively, transfer contents to a blender or food processor and process to desired smoothness. A potato masher will result in the largest chunks. Return apples to heat for an additional 5-10 minutes, or heated through. Add extra juice as it cooks, if the applesauce appears too dry.
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