Homemade Applesauce

We're still swimming in apples at our house from when we harvested .  One of the drawers in the fridge is filled to the brim with apples, so I've been trying to figure out what to do with them.  A while ago I had pinned a recipe for crock pot applesauce and was planning on making it when autumn arrived.  Well, I decided I wanted to make applesauce, but was too impatient to do it with the crock pot and ended up just going with the stovetop variation.  I really love it!

Storebought applesauce isn't my favorite, but I remember when I was a kid there was a sort of western-y barbecue rib type restaurant in Anchorage that we'd occasionally go to and they had delicious homemade applesauce you could order as a side dish that was always so warm and chunky and amazing.  Homemade applesauce is so much better than the stuff from the store, and it's actually super easy and quick to make.  I added it to my oatmeal the other day with some brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon... incredible.  Such a hearty and warm breakfast for those cold autumn mornings.  You could also pair the warm applesauce with some vanilla ice cream and it'd be sort of like having apple pie a la mode!

The nice thing about this recipe is that it's pretty open for experimentation.  Add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want your applesauce to be.  I did it plain the first time, but the second time I added some molasses and some spices to give it more of an autumn-y taste to it.

(Recipe adapted from simply recipes)
3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples.
4 strips of lemon peel
Juice of one lemon ~ 3-4 Tbsp
3 inches of cinnamon stick
appx 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Optional additions:
Tbsp Molasses
tsp nutmeg
tsp allspice
any other spices you want to toss in there! Experiment!

1. Put everything in a large pot, cover, and bring to boil.

2. Once you've got it boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and fish out the cinnamon sticks and lemon peels.  Then, go ahead and mash it all up into applesauce with a potato masher, or similar mashing device.

4. Eat it!  It tastes great both heated up and right out of the fridge cold.  It also freezes easily, and can last up to one year in the freezer.