Falling in Love with Applesauce

I’m a Michigan-der living in San Francisco. So this time of year, I get a bit nostalgic, dreaming of apple picking…fresh cider…hot cinnamon sugar donuts…and making apple sauce with my Grandma Winnie. Ever since I was little, each fall we would make batches and batches of applesauce that she would freeze and we’d enjoy all year long.

McIntosh apples are back in my local grocery store, so I decided to grab a bagful and whip up some homemade applesauce. This is always a fun recipe to make with kids, as they can be the chefs — mashing up the cooked apples, and adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the applesauce until it tastes just right.

low sugar apple sauce recipe

What You’ll Need:
Deep sauce pan
Potato masher
8 apples, peeled and cored
1 cup water (about 1 cup of water to 1 quart of apples)
1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup brown sugar
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Cut the peeled and cored apples into 1/2 – 1/4 inch pieces. Put in a saucepan with the cup of water and simmer until the apples get soft. Stir in lemon juice and brown sugar. Season with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. (If the kids are helping with this part, I suggest letting the apple mixture cool to room temperature first. Otherwise the hot applesauce can burn if it splashes on the skin.) I like my applesauce chunky (shown), but if you want yours more pureed, use the potato masher and let your little one go to town. I usually split the batch because mashing is Dillon’s favorite part (besides eating).

low sugar applesauce recipe

chunky applesauce recipe

The recipe yields about 3 cups of applesauce, depending on your apple sizes. To make a larger batch and freeze: double or quadruple the recipe. Once cooled, put into freezer containers. Defrost when you’re ready to eat.

This recipe is adapted from the old Betty Crocker cookbook that has been passed down from my great-grandmother. The book is very worn and the recipes are full of butter and calories, but I love to cook from it now and again. The only difference in my recipe is that the Betty Crocker version calls for 3/4 cups of white sugar. I prefer the natural tart-sweet flavor of the apples, and the bit of caramel flavoring that comes from the brown sugar.

betty crocker vintage cook book applesauce recipe

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