I am not a huge fruit eater though I try to do so for health reasons, but five pounds of Honeycrisp apples for $2.99 were too good a bargain for me to pass up. I have left three to eat and turned the rest into applesauce.
I leave the skins on the apples when I make this because I like the slight pink hue that they impart to the apple sauce whose color is deepened if you use maple syrup or boiled cider. Leaving the peel as is is possible if using organic apples and a ricer, which makes this a surprisingly 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 6 -8 cups of apple sauce, depending on how much juice your apples give off vs flesh remaining post cooking.
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
Brown sugar, boiled cider, 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 and the cinnamon stick.
Turn the heat 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 if the mixture is too thick, and mix together well.
At this point add whatever sweetener you plan on using, if at all, and some salt to enhance the flavor of the applesauce. Often times the apple sauce is sweet enough on its own and does not require additional.
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 pancake topping, or as the filling for apple turnovers made with squares of ready made puff pastry.