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Awesome Apple Sauce

Applesauce might not be the fanciest thing to blog about, but I’ve had some really crappy stuff in my life and with the holidays looming, I have to put my two cents in.

I grew up on my mom’s homemade stuff. Living on the East Coast, there were a kabillion different varieties of apples to choose from, so her applesauce was always a little different. Here on the West Coast, we have Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp, with the occasional varietal from the Farmer’s Markets. Whatever kind of apples you choose, please make sure they’re organic, as apples are on the “Dirty Dozen” list. This is a list of the 12 fruits and vegetable with the most pesticides. This includes strawberries and red peppers, two of my favorites!

Mom did things a little differently than what I’ve seen in other recipes. The apples are cut and put in the pot without peeling them, which gives the sauce a pretty pink color and there’s no sugar added. That’s a big plus in my book! If the apples are sweet, there’s no need for extra sugar. It’s a simple recipe. I’ve added a few things of my own…what cook doesn’t? I LOVE it with pot roast, mixed into cottage cheese and on it’s own as a snack. It’s low in calories, too! Make a bunch a freeze it. It comes in handy when you least expect it!

Rona’s Awesome Applesauce
5-6lbs of apples, cored and cut into thick slices
2 cups of fresh cranberries (optional-I did it here)
3 sticks of cinnamon
2 pieces dried star anise
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of one lemon
Water to almost cover apples
1/2 cup of raisins (optional-my brother Mark hates these)

Place all the ingredients except raisins in a large pot with a cover. The water should come up to the top of the pile of apples. Heat should be high until it starts to boil, then, lower to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
Take a ricer and place it on a large heatproof bowl. Ladle the apple mix into the ricer, taking out the cinnamon and anise and skins as you press the apples through.

Add the optional raisins and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

That’s the whole thing! Simple, huh? And really, really good.

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