One of the things I love about Autumn is apples. I been making this apple sauce for so long that it is like second nature to me, and it is always slightly different than the last time. A lot of that has to do with the choice of apples, and the apples themselves, each apple is unique even in the same bushel.
** Please use organic apples, apples rank #2 ( #1 being the worst ) of the ‘dirty dozen’ of produce with the most pesticides, if you cannot use organic then please peel the apples, but be aware that you are removing antioxidants by doing so. I use organic and do not peel the apples. **
I like apples that are crisp and have some zing, so I tend to use granny smith, cameo, breaburn, honeycrisp, and gala. This apple sauce is best as a mix of several varieties of apple. So choose apples that you like to eat ‘out of hand’. Another bit of difference I get from batch to batch, is from the citrus I decide to use, I tend to use a lemon, but I have used an orange or a lime. So it is a taste preference for sure, if you like more zing go for the lime, more sweet go for the orange and if you are Goldilocks choose the lemon.
Oh, and for even more versatility, you can change the juice, I usually use apple juice, but around Thanksgiving I’ve been known to use cranberry juice.
This is very tasty raw (for you raw foodists out there), I’d either grate the ginger and use much less, use dried ginger, or omit it. If you are going to cook it, then keep the ginger looking knobby, so that you can find it later to remove it.
My home-made apple sauce is very versatile, it is great as a side dish (think of savory dishes to complement this with, like Thanksgiving stuffing, or fried potatoes, or even spaghetti). Other ideas are to pour over pancakes or waffles, use as a topping for oats or other hot cereal, and it is really good on toast with a bit of earth balance. 🙂
Versatile Home-made Apple Sauce
by the auspicious squirrel
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled, kept knobby
- splash of maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)
- 1/2-1 tsp apple pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), adjust to own taste
- zest and juice of an orange (or 1/2 lemon, or 1/4 lime)
- 5 apples, cored and cut into cubes ( I used breaburn and gala this time )
- cornstarch (omit if eating raw)
- Combine in a 2 quart pot with lid, apple juice, ginger, maple syrup, apple pie spice, zest and juice of citrus of choice.
- Chop apples, by cutting in half, then in quarters, then cutting off the core on the diagonal. Then take quarter and cut into thirds, then realign and cut into cubes.
- Place apples in pot, mix well. ( If you are eating this raw, you are done. 😉 )
- Bring over med-high heat to a rolling boil, cover and boil 10-12 minutes. Stir and check on apple done-ness every 2 minutes or so. Make sure the ginger piece remains in the liquid so that it can do it’s job of flavoring the sauce.
- When you can mash an apple with the back of the spoon you are ready for the next step.
- Taste sauce, adjust. Discard ginger piece.
- Using back of spoon, mash several apple pieces, this will add a bit of thickness. I like to keep my chunky, but feel free to use an immersion blender if you like it more saucy.
- Using the ‘cornstarch method’ add cornstarch.
- Remove from heat. Enjoy.