Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Is For Applesauce

For the first time, in a very long time, I'm living in a part of the United States that actually has a season called Autumn. Texas likes to brag that it also has fall, but we all know that just ain't true. At the very best, in late October, the Lone Star State will have a week of temperatures in the 70's. At this point, all the trees will drop every leaf they own like a bad habit and then it will be a full on rush into winter. No changing colors of the leaves. No cool, foggy mornings. One minute you're in shorts and flip flops and the next it's coats and jeans. To say I'm happy about getting to live on the East Coast in October would be a serious understatement. It's more like I'm wicked excited. See what I did there?? Just like a native.

This little man and I went grocery shopping this weekend for apples to make homemade applesauce. It was one of my September goals and with only a few days to spare, I needed to get on the stick. I let Graham pick out the apples he thought would be best. As I watched him take such care in finding just the right ones, I had an "aha" moment. Applesauce is so easy to make, I should let him do it. He thought this was a great idea and suggested I put it in my blog. His exact words were, "I think everyone needs to know how to do it. Don't you?" I think he was right, so here's how you do it.

There are lots of ways to make applesauce fancy, but I think it tastes best when you keep it simple and healthy. This recipe is absolutely delicious and makes the house smell amazing.

Core 9 apples.

Now peel those babies. I love how serious Graham is taking his job in this picture. Apparently, being a chef is a no nonsense kind of occupation to this young man.

Cut the apples into small pieces. Since you cook the apples until they're soft, the size and shape of how it's cut doesn't really matter. This makes it a great recipe for kids to practice their knife cutting skills.
Add one cup of apple juice or apple cider- your choice.

Add one and a half tablespoons of ground cinnamon.

Squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Some recipes don't include this step, but I like how the lemon juice brightens up the overall flavor of this dish. Stir it all together and put it on the stove on medium high until it boils. Once it boils, turn it down to low, cover it, and cook for about 25 minutes. 
After 25 minutes, it should look a lot like this. The apples will be soft and cooked through. Mash it with a  potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until you get the perfect amount of chunky or unchunky-ness that you like.

 Here's how we like it - heavy on the cinnamon and medium chunky. This is wonderful hot or cold and is good for breakfast or dinner. It's something you'll always want to have on hand - a lot like my red headed kiddo.

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