Applesauce is one of my favorite items to cook weekly during the fall and winter. It’s easy to make a big batch and it stores well in both the refrigerator and freezer. Perfect as a simple snack or a purée for babies and toddlers, applesauce pairs wonderfully with pork and chicken dishes and is also tasty served alongside ice cream, oatmeal, French toast, pancakes and waffles.
I like to make applesauce in 5 pound batches as it’s the perfect amount to fit in my 4 1/2-quart Dutch oven. I peel and core the apples, add cider and the flavorings then let the oven do all the work. You won’t miss the sugar in my applesauce recipes! I add fresh cider to naturally sweeten it and the flavor is delicious. The apples cook in about an hour leaving your kitchen smelling like a dreamy orchard.
If you’d like a rosy color to your sauce, cut and core any red-hued apples and cook then with the skin on. Once the apples are cooked, pass them through a food mill fit with the finest (smallest holes) grinding disc. This will separate the puréed sauce from the apple peelings and leave a nice, pink-to-red color. Depending on your food mill, sometimes pieces of peeling can pass through the disc so I only do this method when I’m in a hurry.
Here are three variations of applesauce, none of which include any added sugar. I like to flavor them with seasonal fruit, herbs and spices.