I recall sampling slices of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious apples and noting their different qualities as a class activity about the five senses in kindergarten. Was the apple sweet, red, crunchy? Since then, I have expanded my apple palate, but it’s hard to know what you’re missing when you’ve never had anything better. I used to be satisfied with Red Delicious apples. Apples are apples, right? Wrong. To the present version of myself, Red Delicious apples taste like old sponges with tough, inedible skin.
I am incredibly lucky to have an apple orchard so close to my school. And I like having to work for my food...so I make an effort to go apple picking each fall. There’s just something special about pulling fruit right from a tree and eating it in the same place where it was grown.
Apples are one of my favorite fruits to cook and bake with because they’re so versatile and there are so many different varieties with different flavor profiles. The school cafeteria brings in apples from the local orchard, so if I can keep myself from eating them instantly, I can stockpile enough to whip up some applesauce.
Making your own applesauce is a breeze, and it tastes far better than anything purchased in the store. Even if you have never touched a stove, I am confident that you cannot ruin this recipe.
Chunky Homemade Applesauce
Peel and slice 4-5 apples. Feel free to eat some of your slices, I always do. If you have a food processor or blender, peeling is optional. It'll give your sauce more fiber and turn it a pretty pink color. But I prefer chunky applesauce more than smooth. Throw the apple slices into a pot, put a lid on it, and cook over medium heat. If you want to add a little water, that’s fine, but it’s usually not necessary. The apples will release their juices and soften pretty quickly. When you can mash the apples up with a fork, your sauce is done! Add as much cinnamon and sugar as you want, and serve hot or cold.