Making applesauce from home is one of the dead-simplest recipes ever; it is a wonder that the sauce-in-a-jar companies survive when the apples start falling from boughs in autumn.
Peeling the skins is generally the only part that takes any effort at all, and that is taken to task with a good peeler and a good chair (or one of those twisting-peeling contraptions that aunts always seems to own). Here is the rundown for a couple dinners’ worth:
Peel and coarsely chop 3 pounds of ripe apples (about 8 average-sized apples). Soft varieties, like McIntosh, work the best, but any will do (as long as they’re not the perfectly tasteless Styrofoam red variety from the store).
Into a pot go the apples along with a half-cup of water. A tablespoon of lemon juice brightens up the final flavor, or a personal preference is to use cranberry juice in lieu of water.
Add some spice to the pot. Stay traditional with a cinnamon stick or two, ramp it up with ginger, or discover the amazing marriage of rosemary and apples by sticking a fresh sprig of rosemary in the pot.
Bring to a boil and cook steadily for 10 minutes until the apples are soft and have broken down into chunky sauce. Mash it, strain it, or just leave it as is. Add a pinch of sugar or a squirt of honey, if more sweetness is desired.
Fresh applesauce meshes beautifully with roast pork (especially with rosemary), vanilla yogurt, potato pancakes, waffles, or just a plain, perfect spoonful.