Quite often farmers markets sell bags of “seconds” – fruit that is bruised or blemished at a discounted price – which is my favorite for making applesauce. Since you’re cooking the fruit down completely a few bruises are fine. Instead of sugar I add fresh cider and orange juice to naturally sweeten the sauce, and fresh ginger for a nice zing. You won’t even miss the sugar!
Serve this applesauce with nice, juicy pork chops, roast chicken, or enjoy cold at breakfast.
makes 2 quarts
5 pounds apples, peeled, quartered and cored
Zest and juice of 1 small navel orange (about 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 cup apple cider
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy bottomed, ovenproof pot toss apples, orange zest and juice, ginger and cider. Cover with an ovenproof lid and bake until apples have broken down and are very soft, about 60 to 70 minutes.
Remove applesauce from oven and stir. Set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate applesauce in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Enjoy this Cranberry Applesauce as one of my Applesauce Three Ways recipes.