[photo via martha]
One of the best things about Autumn has to be the food. Apples are among the quintessential fall foods in my book and I try to make the most of them while they are in season. Some of the best varieties are coming on right now: Honeycrisp (if you haven’t tried one please do so), Golden Delicious, Granny Smith are among my favorites. When M was an infant starting solid foods, I started making applesauce for him. Last year I preserved an entire case of apples and my guys savored tasty applesauce all year round. I’ll share my simple version with you:
8-10 medium tart apples. I like to combine mostly Granny Smith with a few Goldens. Jonathon, Cameo and Honeycrisp also work for more mellow sauce. I just prefer mine more tart.
1/4 cup sugar (can be omitted for infants)
1 Tbsp. orange zest (omit if making for baby until about age 1)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (less if making for baby until about age 1)
Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Place in a bowl with a sprinkling of lemon juice until ready to cook. Then add to a large pot along with about 3/4 cup water, the sugar, orange zest and cinnamon. Stir to combine, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes. As apples begin to soften, check water level. Add another 1/2 cup water if you feel necessary.
When apples are soft, remove and mash with a potato masher or, my implement of choice, an immersion/stick blender. Keep going until desired consistency. I like it chunky, my guys prefer it baby-smooth. They win.
Have a taste–add more sugar or cinnamon if you are so inclined. Blend thoroughly and
transfer to plastic freezer containers. Enjoy your homemade autumn goodness warm or chilled as a snack, on toast or pancakes, as a complement to grilled cheese sandwiches or savory dishes like ham, roast chicken or pork, or potato latkes. My toddler loves applesauce on his oatmeal in the morning, with an occasional drizzle of maple syrup. I’ve also added it to cooked sweet potatoes or fresh blackberries and he loves both. Enjoy.