Warm Up and Mix It Up with Baked Applesauce
With so many apple varieties in the stores and farmers’ markets, now is the time to cook up a batch of delicious, naturally sweet homemade applesauce. Blending different varieties gives you a nice mix of flavors and you can adjust for more tartness or sweetness, depending on your preference. And this recipe keeps the mess to a minimum – you can put all your apples in one pot, bake and about an hour later, have a bowl of warm, comforting applesauce.
Apples contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals like quercetin that show anti-inflammatory properties in lab studies. And they’re a delicious way to add more fruit to your diet – whether fresh or cooked into a sauce.
And, if you’re looking for ways for you and your family to be more physically active – find a u-pick farm and gather your own apples. It’s a great weekend activity for all ages.
Baked Apple Sauce
- 4 lbs. (about 10 medium) assorted apples, such as McCoun, MacIntosh, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Jonagold or HoneyCrisp, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1/3 cup fresh apple cider
- 4 lemon slices, paper-thin, or 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 (3-inch) piece stick cinnamon, or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, optional
- 2 Tbsp. sugar, agave syrup, or honey, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place apples, cider and lemon slices or juice in large Dutch oven or heavy casserole with a cover. Toss apples to coat them with lemon. If using, sprinkle on cinnamon and sweetener and toss again.
Bake apples, covered, for 60 to 75 minutes, until very soft and moist. Stir to combine soft apples and liquid into applesauce. If it is too wet, bake applesauce, uncovered, for 15 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature before serving; applesauce thickens as it cools. The applesauce keeps, covered in refrigerator, for up to 5 days.
Makes 12, ½ cup servings.
Per serving: 99 calories, <1 g fat (0 g sat fat), 26 g carbohydrates, <1 g protein, 4 g fiber, 2 mg sodium.