Healthy Homemade Applesauce

Fill up a six-quart saucepan with a variety of apples such as Stayman, Winesap and Gala. (My recommendation for a rich-tasting and naturally sweet sauce.)

You will need about 12–16 apples, depending on size. You do not need to peel or seed the apples, and you may cut them into quarters or halves, depending on size. Pour over the apples about 2–3 cups of apple cider and bring slowly to a boil over medium heat. Then reduce heat and cook at a simmer until all of the apple pieces are very soft. Turn off heat and let apples cool for about 15–30 minutes. Then put the apples through a food mill using the medium disk. Even if you never use a food mill for anything else, it is worth purchasing one to have applesauce this good.

Return apples to the original pot and cook over low heat until the sauce reaches the proper consistency. If you use cider in this recipe and apples with a lot of sweet/tart flavor, you will not need to add sugar; but you may add it by ¼-cup additions as the sauce thickens, tasting after each before adding more.

You may store the applesauce in airtight containers in the refrigerator for two weeks or in the freezer throughout the winter.

Stored in the smallest Ziploc containers, they make great additions to school or work lunch boxes. Just add a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar to the applesauce and pack frozen for a frosty treat at lunchtime.

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