My kiddos are great about eating applesauce, but I feel totally bummed when everything I pick up in the store has high fructose corn syrup, and applesauce is typically at the top of that list.
As I explained in my Confessions of a Semi-Crunchy, I'm really working hard at this thing called homemaking and embracing the fact that cooking healthy meals for my family is a labor of love. I'm even adjusting to the fact that feeding my family for wellness means that I spend more at the grocery....but when I find a r-e-a-l-l-y good deal on real-deal-whole foods, well, I get excited. That's why when I stumbled upon Eastern Apples at the grocery for 69 cents a pound you bet I quickly decided it was the time to try the homemade applesauce. Typically we are a Gala Apple kinda family...for everything. You can see there was a big difference in size & color, and despite the fact we stick by our Gala's, these Eastern Apples were sooo naturally sweet. Just perfect for homemade applesauce. My eye just adores vintage and I have to admit that these Eastern Apples just scream vintage looking GOODNESS. Ok, maybe that's taking it too far.
(Gala on Left, Eastern on right)
Now, you are probably aware it takes LOADS of apples to make applesauce. I used between 6-7 pounds to yield 6 pints. You do know you can wash your apples in Thieves cleaner, right? You can read more about it HERE and you can read about purchasing Thieves and similar products through me on my Essential Oils Journey page.
I peeled and cubed the apples, placing them directly in a dutch oven on the stovetop. (And no worries over a hint of peel remaining here and there). When I had the pot completely full I added the other ingredients and turned the stove eye to 400 degrees. ((The old oven has settings like this!)) I knew that they would cook down drastically, and truthfully it happened rather fast. I continued to peel & cube apples, adding to the pot a few more times. It was afterall cooking them down rapidly and I was out to make as much as I could quickly. Now I will also admit that while normally I am stickler for things such as this to be cut at basically the same size so they cook evenly, well, I knew I was forfeiting even cooking by adding to the pot along the way. Also, I really wanted a rustic-like applesauce, so different size chunks were fine & dandy with me.
We, as a family, are a cinnamon applesauce kinda family. After peeling & cubing the apples, I added:
1 cup of apple juice, 1/2 cup honey, & 1/4 cup cinnamon
It truthfully seems like a lot of cinnamon, but I promise this quantity of apples warranted that much!
I cooked the apples covered the majority of the time to allow the heat to disperse, but I did stir frequently. Check out this GOODNESS.....
I cooked the apples for about 40-45 minutes total. Several recipes I read said 25 minutes, but remember I was adding to the pot along the way? Yep. I then chose not to run them through a food processor. You could of course, but we were loving the fact that it reminded us of apple pie....pie reminders are always a super good thing ;)
Putting all that goodness into a mason jar? Well, that just made this deal even sweeter.
Making six jars meant I could easily give away a couple of jars to some kind friends and still have four jars in the fridge. They "should" last a few weeks.....well, they will stay fresh for that long in the fridge, if the family allows them to last that long!
So go make some, share some, and enjoy this yummy GOODNESS....you will wish you had tried it sooner, at least I did ;)