I know what you’re thinking. The world doesn’t need another applesauce recipe. A quick google search for applesauce recipes yields something like 6 million results — no kidding — including everything from plain applesauce for canning to an indulgent, lovely raspberry applesauce from Family Fresh Cooking.
But trust me, you need this recipe. You need it because it’s spring, and the locally available apples are getting a little too soft. You need it because it will make your kitchen smell like you’re baking Smitten Kitchen’s awe-inspiring Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel, when (if you’re anything like me) it’s clear you don’t have the time or a mandolin, for that matter. You need it because the stuff you’re buying in the grocery store is probably full of preservatives, additives, and sugar.
Most of all you need it because it’s the easiest applesauce recipe on the planet. It’s barely even a recipe. It goes like this:
- 25-30 apples (buy organic since you're cooking them with the skins on)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Wash the apples.
- Leaving the skins on, cut the apples in slices (just cut away from the core - apple corers aren't worth the trouble), and then cut the slices in half.
- Put the slices in a large, heavy stock pot and cover the bottom of the pot with half an inch of water. Add two cinnamon sticks. Cover the pot with a lid.
- Cook on medium, until the water begins to boil and then turn heat down to low. Add a tablespoon of water now and then if the water cooks away.
- Cook until the apples are soft enough to be mashed against the side of the pot with a fork. This is all the mixing you really need to do, though you can blend the apples with a hand-held blender for a smoother texture. (My boys prefer the smoother variety). Add the ½ teaspoon of vanilla just before mixing.
That’s it! You can’t beat the natural sweetness of the apples and the light flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. We often serve this applesauce atop our Sunday night treat, Disaster Proof Banana Bread. Give it a try and let me know what you think.