Written by Emily Monaco
Anyone who grew up watching The Brady Bunch surely remembers Peter Brady's "pork chops... and applesauce." But while he was mostly going for laughs, this dish is actually a delicious combination of fall foods. In fact, a homemade applesauce goes well with all sorts of dishes, from pork chops to roast chicken to roast winter vegetables. It's the perfect standard to have on hand.
Making homemade applesauce isn't only a great way to have a fresh key ingredient available, but it's a fun way to involve the whole family in cooking and canning for the winter. Spend the afternoon apple picking, collecting as many different varieties as you like. The greater the variety of apples you use in your applesauce, the deeper and more interesting the flavors will be.
The Basic Recipe
The basic recipe for applesauce is really more of a guideline: core your apples and cut them in eighths; then cook them down over low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add half a tablespoon of cider vinegar and 1/8 cup of water for each pound of apples.
There are many variations on this basic recipe, so that you can create the applesauce that's perfect for you and the dishes you want to accompany.
- For a chunky applesauce, simply cook down two pounds of apples for about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the variety of the apples. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes. You're done!
- For a smooth applesauce, use a blender or immersion blender to purée the final product. If you have a food mill, you can even pass it through, for a truly smooth product.
- For a pale applesauce, peel the apples before cooking them down.
- For a sweet, spiced applesauce, add two tablespoons of sugar per pound of apples and a cinnamon stick while the apples stew.
- For a fruity applesauce, consider adding a handful of frozen raspberries to the pot as the applesauce cooks. They'll add bright, berry flavors!