Over the weekend I made a trip to a local apple orchard with my nephew, sister and brother-in-law (it was a Saturday, during football season, so my husband was not in attendance). My nephew took off running down the tree lined path, stumbling over the big green apples scattered on the ground. The colors and smells were wonderful. I enjoyed taking it all in, especially the warm weather and sun we are experiencing this time of year. Refreshing apple cider slushies, vibrant orange pumpkins and fun games were at our fingertips.
Large collections of apples, jams and caramels filled the store. As I walked through to select my apples I started gravitating to my usual Honeycrisp variety that I get almost every year. But then, these Mutsu apples started calling my name. What was this bright green apple? It intrigued me. I debated letting go of my opportunity to delve into a bag of fresh picked, delicious Honeycrisps. My curiosity won as I walked out with a big bag of the Mutsus.
Mutsu apples (aka Crispin) are a cross between a Golden Delicious and an Indo apple first grown in Japan. They are very versatile, great for cooking and eating fresh. I bought a bag of “seconds”, which basically means they are cheaper than, and not as glamorous as the “firsts” picked straight from the tree. For my purposes I didn’t need the attractive apples. I know you are wondering now what I did with all the apples.
HOMEMADE CINNAMON APPLESAUCE
I didn’t realize how easy it was to make your own applesauce until I tried my hand at it. So simple and requires few ingredients. What’s better than making your own? The fragrance of cinnamon and apple fill your home and the end product is preservative free and full of flavor! Remember you can control the sweetness to your taste. Freezes well too.
A great snack, dessert or addition to any meal. Top yogurt, toast, waffles or pancakes naturally with homemade cinnamon applesauce.
HOMEMADE CINNAMON APPLESAUCE
makes 10 servings
4 lbs APPLES, peeled and roughly chopped
1 LEMON, JUICED AND ZESTED
1/4 cup SUGAR OR 100% APPLE JUICE
1 tbsp SUGAR OR HONEY (optional)
1/8 tsp ALLSPICE, GROUND
1 tsp CINNAMON, GROUND
2 CINNAMON STICKS
1 cup WATER
1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Once boil is reached reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until apples are soft.
2. Remove cinnamon sticks. For chunky applesauce: mash apples with a large wooden spoon or potato masher. For smoother applesauce: use an immersion blender or food processor. Serve warm or cold. Good on its own or as a topping for waffles, toast, pancakes or yogurt. Serving size about 1/2 cup.
Tip: I don’t like really sweet things, this recipe is plenty sweet for my taste. You can add more or less sugar if desired.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 110 calories, 0g fat, 30 carb, 5g fiber, 23g sugar, 0g protein