It is apple season here in the Carolinas! Making homemade applesauce is somewhat of a special occasion around here since a healthy store-bought alternative (with no sugar added) can easily be found. I am not saying the store-bought stuff is nearly as good as the homemade version…just more convenient of course. Let’s just say that my husband and I do not regularly consume the little store-bought containers of applesauce, but all four of us fight over the last few drops if it is homemade! Plus making it yourself can be a fun activity (especially with kids), and luckily you can freeze the leftovers.
It is especially quick and easy to make this dish at home if you have a handy dandy apple slicer that will cut out the core and cut the rest into pieces. You can find these inexpensive tools at most grocery stores (or Target), and they will easily cut your prep time in half. Not to mention they come in handy for just slicing apples for a snack (or even pears too!).
- 3 pounds cooking apples (any variety is good), cut into ½ inch or 1 inch slices…no need to peel them unless you have an extra hour you want to kill
- ½ cup apple juice or cider
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 large cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Combine the apples, apple juice/cider, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick (if using) into a large pot. Cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender (but not mushy).
- Remove the cinnamon stick (if using) and transfer warm apple mixture to a food processor (or you can mash by hand with a potato masher) and add honey (if using) and nutmeg. Puree to desired chunkiness.
Serve, refrigerate, or freeze the leftovers!