I NEVER liked applesauce growing up; the very thought of those little Mott’s snack packs used to make me gag. Not that I’ve come around to that jarred baby food, but I have developed a taste for applesauce, this applesauce in particular.
Adapted from one of my favorite books, The Hay Day Country Market Cookbook, this applesauce is chunky, naturally sweet and even a little tart. It’s made from just three ingredients, apple cider, apples and cinnamon.
Because you can use any apples you like, and I suggest a combination of those you do like, I think the key to making this one taste great lies in the apple cider you use. I like the Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Trader Joe’s that’s made with honey crisp apples. Period. I’d use any cider you can get your hands on that’s made with nothing but apple juice.
Makes 3 cups
5 cups apple cider
6 large apples, peeled, unpeeled or some combination and cut into 1-inch chunks
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Bring the cider to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer rapidly, uncovered, over medium-high heat until reduced by half, 30 to 35 minutes.
Stir in the apples and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until the apples have softened completely and begun to break apart, 35 to 45 minutes. The applesauce should be thick and chunky; if there is too much liquid, remove the lid and simmer uncovered until thickened.
Stir in the cinnamon. Serve warm atop oatmeal or ice cream, cold stirred into yogurt, or even by its lonesome.