Applesauce is a classic, perfect kid food. We prefer unsweetened and organic – and that gets pricey. A quart typically costs about $4. The good news? Applesauce is incredibly easy to make, and if you can find an afternoon to do some canning, you can have your own perfect applesauce for a little over $1/quart. You can make it as thin or chunky as you like, with or without sugar, cinnamon, or other spices.
Warm applesauce with cinnamon can be a simple dessert, or mix it with plain yogurt or cottage cheese for a healthy snack.
This year I made several quarts of ‘plain jane’ applesauce (just apples, and cider for the cooking liquid), and also pomegranate clove applesauce.
The folks at Pom Wonderful were kind enough to send me a case of their 100% pomegranate juice. Using this juice for the cooking liquid gave the finished sauce a rosy hue and a deep fruity flavor. The cloves complimented the rich pomegranate flavor perfectly.
If you’ve never canned before, it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Here’s my favorite no-nonsense resource: Putting Food By. You’ll need an extra-large/deep pot, a rack to set the jars on, a large funnel, mason jars, rings, and new lids. See a link to step by step canning instructions at the end of the recipe. Canning in a hot water bath is simple, and can be used for any food that is acidic (such as tomatoes, most fruits, pickles, and apples.)
Pomegranate Clove Applesauce
makes about 7 quarts
4-6 lbs good sauce apples (I used Paula Red), cored and cut into chunks
8 0z 100% pomegranate juice
water as needed
1T whole cloves
1) Put apples, juice, and cloves in large heavy-duty stockpot. Add enough water to achieve an inch of liquid in your pot.
2) Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Partially cover, and cook until apples are falling apart (about 20 minutes).
3) Run mixture through a foodmill (skins will be left behind) and put in sterilized glass jars. Can in a waterbath to preserve for good sauce eating all year long. (if you don’t have a foodmill, peel apples before cooking, and then mash when soft to desired thickness. Also put whole cloves in a cheesecloth bag or tea infuser for easy removal.)