All photos (c) 9/17/11, Kathy Fannon
(Click photos to enlarge)
When I was a kid my Aunt Carole made the BEST apple pie on the planet. When I got older she gave me her recipe and it calls for McIntosh apples, so that’s what I’ve always used to make pie.
With my change of eating habits, I no longer make apple pie. I don’t like the partially hydrogenated oils in the store bought pie crust and I’m too chicken (or lazy?) to make my own. I also don’t keep sugar in the house anymore. (Although, maybe I could try it with coconut sugar. I hear that’s good.)
Last fall I decided to make applesauce. I prefer baking to stovetop cooking because more of the nutrients and flavor are retained. (Which is why I bake corn instead of boiling it.)
And now…my favorite fruit farmer, Duane, has McIntosh apples again! Yay! I can make more baked applesauce to use in my oatmeal, yogurt, or by itself for a snack!
Saturday I bought a bunch and couldn’t wait to get home and get them started!
I peeled and sliced apples and put them in a pie plate, just like I would with a pie. No sugar, salt or cinnamon, but you can add whatever you’d like.
Apples prior to baking
I put them in a 350* oven and stirred and mashed after 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes (Prior to stirring and mashing)
I stirred and mashed them again after another 30, then after another 30-ish. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn (especially at the beginning - above picture). I also like just a little texture to them, so I want some chunks left when they’re finished baking, but bake them as long as you like for the texture you want.
When you first take them out of the oven they will have a little soufflé-like jiggle. That makes it fun to mash ‘em!
I started with 6 ½ pounds of apples and ended up with about 6 cups of baked applesauce. When I use these for my oatmeal I will water them down a little bit because it does make a thick sauce. But I don’t want to lose the amazing tangy flavor, so not too much water!
Of course you can try this with any apple you like, and I would love to know if you do.
This is a very easy way to make applesauce, although it is a little time consuming in the peeling and slicing, then waiting while they bake. But SO worth it. And as you know, being the food snob that I am, I prefer as little processing as possible. Besides, I get to support my local economy (and friends) this way!
I tried freezing, then thawing some to see how it would hold up. Perfect! So I put my applesauce into the freezer in one-cup amounts for future use.
Now I need to plan how many weeks there are between now and next spring when I’ll stop making oatmeal for breakfast so I can be sure to have enough for the winter.
1 Medium Apple:
1 Medium Apple:
- Calories: 80
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Vitamin A: 2%
- Vitamin C: 14%
- Iron: 2%
Challenge: Get 3 pounds of your favorite apples, either from the store or the farmers market, and bake your own applesauce. (This will fit into one pie plate.) Then report back and let me know what kind you used and how you liked it!
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