I’m a big fan of homemade applesauce.
I practically lived on the jarred stuff as a kid, but after years of inching back from processed food, it tastes too sweet to me now. So once a month or so I break out my electric pressure cooker, grab a bag of apples, and pressure cook my way to apple heaven. Barbie’s stovetop method is a little more hands-on. It’s still pretty easy though, and it works with fewer apples.
To find out how Barbie does it, read on.
- 4 apples
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
Peel, core, and slice apples into very thin strips.
Put apple strips in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook over very low heat until apples are soft and have absorbed all the water, about 40 minutes.
At this point, the applesauce will still be fairly chunky. If you want to break the apples down a little more, add 1/4 cup more water and continue to cook, checking every 10 minutes or so. Once the apples are as done as you want them, add sugar and cinnamon to taste. Serve hot or cover and chill.
-Adapted from Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook
This took a lot more babysitting than my usual applesauce recipe. The original version from Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook doesn’t include any suggestion of how long all this is gonna take, so I kept needing to check the amount of liquid left in the pan. (If you run out of water, the fruit will start to scorch.)
The end result is also a lot more… let’s go with “rustic.” It would be easy enough to blend the cooked apples for a smoother result, but pulling out an extra appliance cuts this recipe’s one-pot appeal.
Barbie’s cookbook suggests that this will serve four, but see that pic at the top of this page? That’s it. That’s as much applesauce as this recipe makes, at least if you cook it down as much as I did (which was a little over an hour). You could split it four ways if you were doing that fancy restaurant thing where you give each person a spoonful on a plate with a couple of other things going on. But to serve as an actual side, this works best for two people.
- Barbie’s original recipe calls for 3 (or more!) tablespoons of sugar. I didn’t add any because cooked apples are already pretty sweet, and I want my applesauce to taste like apples, not sugar.
- If you end up making applesauce regularly, I highly recommend a gadget for peeling and coring. It’s not necessary, but it makes the whole process faster. I have a stand mixer attachment that, among other things, can peel, core, and slice the apples all in one step. It made prepping the apples for the pot take maybe 5 minutes.
While Barbie’s Easy Applesauce more or less lived up to its name, I’m going to back to my trusty pressure cooker recipe. I could see making this one again if I wanted a really chonky homemade applesauce to go with pork or ham though, especially if the rest of the meal would already keep me in the kitchen for an hour or so.
We’ll be talking more about applesauce later on, so if you have any tips, leave ’em in the comments!