Super flavorful from a vanilla bean and a few cinnamon sticks, this no-sugar added applesauce is downright delicious.
- 6 pounds apples (any variety (except for red delicious) such as Mutzu, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Empire Cortland, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Envy, McIntosh...use a combination of these or any other apples)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup water (235 grams)
Peel, half, and core the apples. Slice them into approximately ½ inch squares. No need for precision here. Just get them chopped up. Add them to a pot that is at least 4½ quarts. (I use a Le Creuset #24. The apples filled the pot all the way to the top.)
Use a paring knife to slice the vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle to open it up and expose the seeds inside. Use the back of the paring knife to scrape the seeds out. Add the seeds and the vanilla pod to the apples in the pot. Also add the cinnamon sticks and the water.
With the heat on high, bring the mixture to a boil, pushing the apples around a bit every couple of minutes. Try to push the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod toward the bottom in the water. Once the water boils, reduce the flame to medium-low. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. It is done with the water is reduced, most of the apples have lost their shape, and it looks, well, like applesauce! If you like chunks of apples, enjoy as is. Or you can use a potato masher to mash the chucks down. Discard the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an air proof container and refrigerate for up to seven days.
- I highly recommend using a real vanilla bean. In a pinch, you could use 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, or, as a last resort, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- For a slight variation, substitute in 1 or 2 pears for a couple of apples.
- If you are cooking with the skins on the apples, run the applesauce through a blender or food processor once it is cooled.
Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg