Why This Recipe Works
Apple peels and cores contribute color and flavor to applesauce, but processing that kind of sauce usually requires a food mill. We wanted a fresh, clean-tasting, attractive sauce that wasn't marred by seeds and bits of skin, and we wanted to make it without specialty equipment. We chose McIntosh apples for their colorful skins, their balanced sweet/tart flavor, and their tendency to break down readily. We peeled and cored the apples and then cooked the peels and cores with a cup of water, mashing them occasionally to coax out their flavors and pigments. We then cooked the quartered apples in a separate saucepan with a small amount of water and sugar and a pinch of salt. We mashed the cooked apples, strained the pulpy peel-and-core mixture over the mashed apple mixture, and then stirred it all together. Enjoy the straightforward apple flavor of this sauce as is or add a pinch of cinnamon for a lightly spiced version.