It is most definitely apple season around here. Our granny smith tree produces more apples than we can possibly eat, although we try our hardest to make a decent dent in the supply.
Every Sunday during apple season, I cook up a big batch of applesauce. I developed a way to make sweet, flavorful applesauce without adding any refined sugar. Here’s an approximate recipe for my applesauce, feel free to alter it to taste.
Chunky spiced applesauce with cranberries
Makes about 2 quarts
30 medium sized granny smith apples
1 and 1/2 cups of no-sugar-added apple cider or juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (I use at least half of a nutmeg)
Ground cinnamon, to taste (I use about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
Put the apple cider and cinnamon sticks into a large stockpot, bring to a boil. Boil until the cider is reduced by about half. In the meantime, core the apples and cut into ½” chunks. I don’t bother to peel the apples, but you can if you’re looking for a smoother sauce. Add the apples to the cider, and season to taste with ground cinnamon, salt, and freshly grated nutmeg. Cook the apples on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are cooked through and starting to break down, about 25-30 minutes. Add vanilla extract and cranberries and continue to cook until the applesauce has reached your desired consistency. I usually let it cook until about 70% of the apples have broken down and the remaining apples are still intact. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Discard cinnamon sticks before serving. This keeps in the fridge for about a week and can also be frozen.