I’m not sure if you guys remember kindergarten or not? That was quite a while ago for me… I pretty much only have hazy memories of it at this point. However, my oldest son Aiden happens to be in kindergarten now, and let me tell you, they do some pretty sweet stuff in his class! Recently, the whole class brought in apples to sort, count, and make applesauce out of. Aiden came home happy as a clam and singing a cute little song about how to make applesauce. Something to the effect of:
♫ Peel an apple, Cut it up, Cook it in a pot. When you taste it you will find, It’s applesauce you’ve got! ♫
Naturally, at this point it was absolutely necessary to make applesauce again at home with Aiden. It also didn’t hurt that I happened to have at least a million apples from my friends tree sitting in the fruit bowl(s).
I was totally down with that, but wanted to jazz up the flavors of the applesauce. So, rather then cooking in a pot as the song directs we roasted our apples in the oven covered in all our favorite fall spices. Aiden was deeply suspicious of this new applesauce method at first, but ended up approving thoroughly after taste testing.
I’ve also gotta admit that after taste testing myself, I was completly, utterly, shocked at how much better homemade applesauce tastes compared to the store bought version. I’m not adverse to store bought stuff in general, but holy cow homemade applesauce takes it to a level waaay above the store variety!
Anyhow, this is a fun, simple, and kid friendly project enjoy on a cool afternoon.
P.S. The resulting applesauce is super amazing to bake with. It has a much more assertive apple flavor then store bought applesauce.
Homemade Roasted Applesauce With Fall Spices
Yields about 3 cups.
- 3 lb apples cored (and peeled if desired, though the peel will create a deeper apple flavor)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup water
1. Place cored apples in a baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Splash vanillas over the apples.
2. Bake at 350* for 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours or until the apples are very soft.
3. Remove pan from oven, add the brown sugar to the pan if desired. Use a spoon to stir apples into applesauce consistency, adding a few splashes of water as needed to reach the desired constancy.
Note: If you chose to leave the apple peels on you can either pick them out after baking or use an immersion blender to puree the apples and peels to the correct consistency. If you keep the peels in you will probably use a bit extra water depending on your desired consistency.
4. Cool and store in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks. If frozen the applesauce can save for about a year.
*I should mention that I made a few different batches using different types of apples. The best, sweetest, most flavorful batch came from a mix of Jonathan, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, and some unknown type of yellow apple. (Those came from a friends tree…but I’m guessing they were Golden Delicious.) I actually didn’t even add the brown sugar to that batch. It didn’t need it!