I may have slightly overfilled the fruit bowl because the kid returned to college, leaving me with figs, a mango, a banana, some blood oranges, seedless green grapes and five pounds of assorted apples. I am not a big fruit eater but have come up with uses for all of the other fruit, some of which will show up in recipes here, and it seemed obvious to make applesauce with the apples.
I leave the skins on the apples when I make this because I like the pink hue that they impart to the apple sauce. This is possible because I use a ricer which makes this a really easy recipe and offers another use for the utensil you probably only use for mashed potatoes...If you don't own a ricer then you have to peel and core the apples and mash them with a potato masher instead.
Makes about 6 cups of apple sauce.
5 lbs of unpeeled organic apples, well washed and cut into quarters, added to the pan pips, cores and all (unless, as mentioned above, you do not own a ricer)
1/2 cup water
Simple syrup or maple syrup to taste
1 cinnamon stick
Generous pinch of salt
Add the quartered apples to a large stockpot, along with the water, the salt and the cinnamon stick.
Turn the heat on to low-medium and cover the pan. Cook for ten minutes. I shake the pan from time to time, just to ensure that the apples are cooking through and don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Check doneness with a fork after ten minutes; it should go through an apple piece easily. If not, another five minutes should do it.
Turn off the heat and let the apples cool in the pan. Once they are cool, put them through a ricer one by one, discarding peel, pips and stems (and the cinnamon stick, of course.)
Add the cooking liquid that remains in the pan to the bowl with the riced apples and mix together well.
At this point add simple syrup or maple syrup if you are using sweetener. Often times the apple sauce is sweet enough on its own.
I think that applesauce tastes best cold, directly from the fridge but this is also quite nice as a side for pork chops or potato pancakes, or as the filling for apple turnovers made with squares of ready made puff pastry.