Applesauce was a fixture of our childhood – and I’m not talking Motts. Each fall, mom would make applesauce from scratch, a labor of love that consumed a full day of cooking in the kitchen. I often kept mom company while she canned, though I’m not sure I helped all that much, as everything was boiling and bubbling, and that food mill was a little bit scary. Mom put up dozens of quarts of applesauce for the winter, which my brother and I gobbled up at every dinner through the winter. And I will admit that many a spoonful of applesauce was used as a carrier medium for lima beans, so that I might swallow them whole and not have to taste them.
I haven’t canned my own applesauce yet, but I have come to love my own roasted applesauce. Needing no sugar, and baked with apple cider, this sauce has a concentrated apple flavor that I love. Once you’ve cubed the apples, and pop it in the oven, it needs little attention, and after an hour, you’ve got a meltingly perfect sauce. I like mine chunky, but if you like a smoother sauce, just remove the cinnamon stick, and puree the sauce in the blender or food processor.
Makes 1 qt sauce
1 Weight Watchers Point per 1/2 cup
10-12 medium sized apples, peeled, cubed into 1″ pieces
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 T cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1 T vanilla (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core and cube the apples, and put them in a 9×13 pan. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, toss to coat. Pour in apple cider, then add the cinnamon stick underneath the apples.
Bake for 60 minutes, stirring after 30 minutes. Let apples fully cool on the counter – they will reabsorb some of the liquid. Applesauce will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and also freezes very well.