Honey Roasted Applesauce

Applesauce is not an obvious DIY and I can't figure out why that is. It was only in the last couple of years that I jumped on the homemade applesauce train and had my personal "duh" moment. The flavor and texture blow store-bought versions away, it's easy to make, and you can load up your freezer with the stuff. I know! Always late to the party.

Recipe

Many applesauce recipes I've seen call for sugar and/or some sort of juice such as apple cider. I'd like to humbly suggest that you try making applesauce without adding any additional sugar (aside from the honey, but that doesn't count). When buying fruit at peak season it needs little help from us humans - them apples are sweet on their own! On the sweetness note, using a mix of apple varieties helps balance out the flavor.

I roast half of the apples and then simmer the rest to maintain some brightness in the sauce. If you want to skip the roasting step the applesauce will turn out just fine. The texture is a bit looser and the flavor not quite as rich, but it will still taste far better than anything you can buy in the store.

Tools

Apples from See Canyon Fruit Ranch at the Santa Monica Farmers Market

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds of apples (both sweet and tart), cored, peeled, and quartered Note: To minimize oxidation (browning), simply toss the cut apples in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice until ready to roast or simmer.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (this is not the lemon juice you used for the bowl of water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon Note: In this dish I only use cinnamon for a touch of warmth. If you want your spice to be a flavor diva adjust up accordingly.

Instructions

Roasting

  • Heat oven to 375.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then lay a piece of parchment paper on top of it.
  • Spread half of the apples out in an even layer, then pour the lemon juice and honey over the top and toss around to coat.
  • Roast for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours until very soft, tossing and turning the apples a few times during the cooking process.

Simmering

  • In a Dutch oven or similar pot, add the remaining apples and 1/4 cup of water.
  • Cook the apples over medium heat and reduce to medium-low if the apples start to "boil", simmer until soft.
  • Add your roasted apples and cinnamon to the pot and mash.
  • You could stop at mashing for chunky applesauce, otherwise go to the next step.

Pureeing

  • Method 1 - Put all of the mashed apples into a food processer and process until smooth, scraping the bowl once or twice.
  • Method 2 - Run the apple mixture through a food mill. Note: This is my preference from a texture perspective.

Storage

Applesauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 -3 days and it freezes beautifully.


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