Like many good cooks, my mother makes applesauce this way, for Hanukkah or any time. All the parts of the apple, including the peel and core, contribute their flavor to this applesauce. If the peel is red, it adds a little color too. You save time peeling the apples but then you do need to work the applesauce through a food mill.
If you don’t have a food mill, you can still make this applesauce. Simply peel and core the apples, then puree the applesauce in a blender or food processor. It might come out thicker but you can adjust the thickness with water.
Use any apples that are good for cooking. Recipes often call for tart apples such as Pippin or Granny Smith, but I also like medium-tart ones like Jonathan or sweet apples such as Golden Delicious or Gala. Besides, if you use sweet apples, you need less sugar.
This applesauce is plain and simply highlights the taste of the apples. There are many ways to flavor the applesauce: you can simmer a cinnamon stick or a vanilla bean with the apples or you can flavor the finished applesauce with all sorts of seasonings: a pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves, or grated lemon rind or vanilla extract. If you prefer, cook the apples with equal amounts of brown sugar or honey instead of white sugar, then taste and adjust sweetener if necessary. Applesauce keeps 3 or 4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Makes8 to 12 servings
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturesweet, tart
Type of DishCondiments
- 4 pounds apples, quartered
- ½ cup sugar, or more if needed
- ½ cup water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice (optional)
Combine apples, sugar, and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring often, about 15 minutes or until apples are very tender. Let cool.
If any liquid remains in pan, use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples to a food mill fitted with the coarse grating disk. Puree the apples in the food mill. Return puree to the saucepan. Simmer a few more minutes, stirring, until applesauce is as thick as you like it.
Add lemon juice, if using, or more sugar, if needed. If adding sugar, simmer applesauce 1 minute, stirring, to blend it in.
2000 Faye Levy